The number of connected devices in the world, according to Statista, already far exceeds the number of people living on the planet – by the end of 2023, there will be more than 15 billion units. And it is expected that already by 2030, there will be nearly 30 billion connected devices worldwide. Since the number of technical staff who monitor the health of IoT devices and systems remains unchanged, the importance of the ability to manage countless remote devices grows. Let’s talk about remote management and monitoring in the Internet of Things, the tasks they solve, as well as the future of remote IoT device monitoring.
Seven Steps to Manage a Remote IoT Device and Where to Monitor in the Process
When we talk about remote monitoring of connected devices, we must see the whole picture and keep in mind that monitoring is an integral part of remote IoT device management as such.
One of the classic descriptions of IoT remote management suggests that it consists of seven steps:
- Identification authentication.
- Software Maintenance & Updates.
The first three steps in this model are preparatory when devices are included in the IoT infrastructure with the required technical requirements. Two key steps follow this: remote control of IoT devices and their monitoring.
The control stage is what the Internet of Things exists for. Based on data from sensors and devices, the administrator or automation system decides that a particular device should change its operating mode. For example, if the soil moisture sensor in a smart greenhouse reports that the humidity has dropped critically, the automation platform deployed in the greenhouse triggers irrigation devices.
Monitoring in IoT always goes hand in hand with device control. Below we will consider how remote monitoring systems work and what tasks they solve.
How Does a Remote IoT Device Management Platform Provide Monitoring?
A remote monitoring system functions by utilizing smart sensors installed directly on the equipment and connected to the cloud (common practice today is using wireless technologies to manage IoT devices remotely). These sensors capture data which is then transmitted over an Internet of Things (IoT) network. The real-time information gathered through these IoT sensors can be utilized to generate alerts within the system, notifying users about environmental conditions or levels of energy consumption. For example, if a certain energy consumption threshold is exceeded, the system sends alerts to managers, prompting them to take necessary actions. By continuously transmitting real-time data to the cloud, remote IoT device management platform can operate with minimal human intervention. Moreover, such a system can predict potential failures before they actually happen.
What are the Tasks of Remote Monitoring?
When deciding to implement a remote monitoring system, a business solves the following tasks with its help:
- Collection and storage of historical data on the status of sensors and devices. The system administrator can access this data at any time to obtain the information they need – for example, the exact readings of a particular sensor at a specific point in time or the average readings of the same sensor over a long period. Historical data can also be shared with analysts for analysis, such as in the context of big data technology.
- Collection and storage of system metrics. Monitoring provides the ability to check the device’s uptime and other accumulated and triggered events.
- Sending notifications to the system administrator. The nature of the alerts may vary depending on the application of the IoT solutions, but they are usually notifications of critical decisions and the need for preventive maintenance.
- Security. Monitoring allows you to timely identify possible risks and vulnerabilities, such as device configuration changes, and report them to the administrator.
When we manage a remote IoT device in practice, the monitoring system also ensures the implementation of the final two stages of this process: diagnostics and software updates. Diagnosing the system as a whole and its individual devices without physically visiting each device installation point makes it possible to identify and fix problems. The remote IoT devices monitoring results often form the basis of technical tasks for the development team to update and improve the software and firmware of devices.
Benefits of Remote IoT Monitoring
Summarizing the benefits of using remote IoT device monitoring, we can identify the following main ones:
Organizations gain the ability to predict potential equipment failures and schedule maintenance proactively. This approach reduces downtime, extends equipment lifespan, and prevents expensive repairs or replacements.
Businesses can achieve cost savings through various means. Real-time asset monitoring enables identifying and predicting potential failures, avoiding costly repairs and replacements. This extends the lifespan of assets and equipment, reducing capital expenses. Additionally, remote monitoring helps optimize energy usage, lowering utility bills.
Enhanced Safety and Security
Companies can establish improved safety and security protocols by utilizing real-time data insights. Monitoring assets and operations allows for the identification of potential safety hazards, enabling proactive measures to mitigate risks. It also involves monitoring employee activities to ensure compliance with safety protocols and detecting security breaches or unauthorized access attempts.
Immediate Access to Data Insights
Real-time data insights empower businesses and industries to make prompt, data-driven decisions. This enhances operational efficiency, optimizes resource allocation, and reveals future trends and patterns that can inform planning.
The Future of IoT Monitoring
The future of IoT with remote monitoring holds great promise, with several emerging trends shaping its trajectory.
Seven Trends for the Future of Remote IoT Device Monitoring
Trend 1. Edge Computing
The proliferation of edge computing is a significant trend in the future of remote IoT device monitoring. Edge computing allows data processing and analysis to occur closer to the data source, reducing latency and enhancing real-time decision-making capabilities. This trend enables faster response times and improved efficiency in IoT monitoring applications.
Trend 2. Integration with AI and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning are revolutionizing IoT monitoring by enabling predictive analytics, anomaly detection, and automated decision-making. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of data collected from IoT devices, identify patterns, and provide actionable insights to optimize monitoring processes and detect issues proactively.
Trend 3. 5G Connectivity
The advent of 5G networks will radically impact IoT monitoring. 5G offers significantly faster speeds, lower latency, and higher device density, enabling seamless connectivity for a massive number of IoT devices. This trend will enable more extensive and efficient monitoring of devices, leading to enhanced performance, scalability, and reliability.
Trend 4. Advancements in Sensors and Devices
Continual advancements in sensors and devices contribute to the development of more sophisticated and dependable monitoring solutions. Today’s sensors can gather data at a granular level, devices can function in challenging environments, and wearable technologies can monitor vital signs with greater accuracy.
Trend 5. Increased Adoption and Standardization
With the growing adoption of remote IoT device monitoring across various industries, the demand for standardization and interoperability has risen. Common protocols, interfaces, and data formats are essential for seamless data sharing and integration between different systems and platforms.
Trend 6. Utilization of Blockchain for Secure Data Sharing
The utilization of blockchain technology presents an opportunity to enhance security and privacy in remote monitoring. By enabling secure and decentralized data sharing, blockchain ensures that sensitive information remains protected. The establishment of blockchain-based platforms for data sharing and secure storage will support this heightened level of security.
Trend 7. Industry-specific IoT Monitoring Solutions
Different industries have unique requirements and use cases for IoT monitoring. The future will see the development of industry-specific solutions tailored to sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and energy. These solutions will address specific challenges, optimize processes, and unlock new possibilities for efficient monitoring and management of IoT devices in their respective domains.
These seven trends are set to shape the future of remote IoT device monitoring, ushering in improved efficiency, accuracy, and security in monitoring and managing devices and systems.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the future of remote IoT device monitoring holds significant potential for transforming various industries and improving operational efficiency. With the increasing number of connected devices globally, remote management and monitoring play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of IoT systems. The above highlights the seven essential steps required when we manage a remote IoT device, emphasizing the importance of monitoring in conjunction with control.
Looking ahead, several trends are shaping the future of remote IoT device monitoring. Edge computing brings data processing closer to the source, enabling faster response times and improved efficiency. Integration with AI and machine learning facilitates predictive analytics and automated decision-making. The emergence of 5G networks enhances connectivity, while advancements in sensors and devices contribute to more sophisticated monitoring solutions. Standardization, blockchain technology for secure data sharing, and industry-specific IoT monitoring solutions are also expected to drive advancements in this field.
In summary, remote IoT device monitoring offers significant advantages for businesses, including improved maintenance practices, cost savings, enhanced safety, and better decision-making based on real-time insights. As technology continues to evolve, the future holds tremendous potential for further advancements and innovations in remote IoT device monitoring, revolutionizing various industries and paving the way for a more connected and efficient world.