Our Connected World

Homemade is for Cookies - Not Device Management Software

By Michael Campbell

At EdgeIQ, we provide DeviceOps software for the lifecycle management of any connected product across its entire value chain. Like DevOps, DeviceOps transforms organizational silos into seamless, integrated operations — and you can get started with us in a matter of days. Here, we talk about why it makes sense to leave DeviceOps to us, rather than building it on your own.

There’s no shortage of geniuses and can-do entrepreneurial spirit in the Connected Product Economy, so the urge to build in-house solutions for DeviceOps is no surprise. But your first surprise if you DIY DeviceOps? Never good.

A few years down the line, you find yourself with multiple homegrown internal device management solutions in just one business unit, none of them feature-complete, and none of them able to talk to each other. Then you build a next-gen architecture for deploying and managing devices and none of your internal device management solutions support the new architecture.

The people who wrote the solutions are long gone just when you need to pivot. And all the while, you have a mandate to become an applications and analytics company and go from selling a product to selling that product as a service. Priority #1: digital and business transformation.

If this sounds like you, your secret’s safe with us — and you are not alone. It’s time to step back and take a hard look in the mirror. The optimistic do-it-yourself attitude leads you into a quagmire of technical debt, bugs, and workarounds. What’s more, it robs resources from strategic priorities.

DeviceOps software for device lifecycle and data management, user and account administration, secure access, cloud integration and workflow orchestration isn’t something you should be doing yourself. Proprietary firmware? Yes. Application software? Yes. Cookies? Hell yes. But not DeviceOps.

Use your resources wisely
Because digital and business transformation are strategic priorities for your organization, there are endless demands on product and engineering resources. It only makes sense to devote your most valuable, internal resources toward what’s most strategic and differentiated in your solution: applications, analytics, physical product design, and proprietary device software. These require specialized knowledge and skills that only your people possess. They are and should remain your core competencies.

On the other hand, tools for provisioning, wellness monitoring, alerts, event management, automation and orchestration are necessary, but they are not going to blow anyone’s socks off, including the people who are tasked with writing them. Talented people would rather work on the exciting stuff, and if they can’t, they often walk out the door with invaluable intellectual property.

Not enough Excedrin in the world
Also, remember that DeviceOps never means sending a blanket software update to every single product you’ve ever shipped. It’s about sending a software update to a specific model of a device running a specific version of firmware or a specific operating system for a specific customer or geography. And you can only do it at two o'clock in the morning, local time.

After all, DeviceOps is not just about automating a task. It is about connecting the automation of a task with the integration to a service associated with a particular customer account, or a particular device profile. When you start stitching all those things together, it becomes a throbbing migraine - for you and your customer.

Create assets, not liabilities
Still, even armed with all the business advice in the world, the decision to build vs. buy isn’t always an easy one. You have the resources to write homegrown code, and you may think you are building a strategic asset. Not the case. It quickly becomes a liability that requires constant care and feeding, evolution, and management of third-party dependencies.

So, next time you think to yourself, “We have two free people. They can work on a siloed DeviceOps solution full-time for two years and get it done,” hold that thought and realize that before it’s done, there are already changes that need to be made and many of the third-party dependencies are broken. Also remember that you’ve decelerated time-to-market for your more strategic priorities. You’ve also introduced risk into the product and your customers’ operations.

As your business grows, your internal device management tool must stretch to work with different devices, interfaces, third-party integrations — the list goes on — and of course you have to worry about the full-time maintenance of your feat of engineering.

So leave DeviceOps to us. We have invested millions of dollars and hundreds of person-years in software design, development and iteration over the past decade. All we do is DeviceOps software. We’re damn good at it, and we remove the risks and costs for you. Our solution is abstracted from device types, operating systems, network modalities and cloud. And it works off-the-shelf. As an API-first platform, it helps you avoid siloed approaches and works with legacy implementations. Everything we put into our platform to boost performance, security, and scalability continuously benefits you.

It's time to avoid the migraine altogether and future-proof your business right away. Schedule a call and share some homemade cookies with one of our experts. Let’s talk.

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