Key factors when selecting a 4G or 5G enterprise IoT solution include security, management, growth, reliability, and extensibility
The Internet of Things (IoT) has come a long way since wearable fitness trackers made their debut in the early 2000s. Today, enterprise businesses use IoT connectivity to drive autonomous vehicles, take payments, monitor environmental changes, relay traffic-sensing information, and manage supply chains, among millions of other applications.
Regardless of the use case, the benefits of enterprise IoT solutions are ubiquitous. Connected devices can improve and streamline operations, provide enhanced layers of security, save money, and enable businesses to go to market at a more rapid pace. But with innumerable options available, it can be daunting to know whether your business is making the right choice when implementing connected devices into daily operations. Here are five things to consider for IoT connectivity.
1. Implement multifaceted enterprise-class security
Whether you’re a dairy farmer digitally monitoring the health of newborn calves or a retailer serving millions of customers each day, security breaches are pervasive. For some companies a breach may be insignificant, but for others it could mean the dangerous compromise of sensitive data. That’s why security is the No. 1 consideration for IoT connectivity.
When Visio Health needed a secure solution to safely launch new diagnostic telemedicine programs, it was important that the solution be capable of protecting patient data in compliance with HIPPA guidelines. With centrally managed security features through Cradlepoint’s LTE routers, Visio customers had constant mobile connectivity they could rely on without fear.
Cradlepoint's NetCloud Manager collapses perimeter-secured overlay networks, SD-WAN traffic steering, configurations, firmware updates, firewall transversal, encryption, and more into one cloud management platform.
2. Improve efficiency with best-in-class remote management
Rather than deploying an IT team member to troubleshoot IoT connectivity in person, an effective enterprise IoT solution will enable that IT professional to remotely manage thousands of devices at once.
For companies like BrainBox AI, the ability to remotely control IoT devices is invaluable. Their advanced technology helps building operators automate HVAC system components like fans, chillers, and boilers to optimize energy consumption. The BrainBox software combines IoT data with external data such as weather conditions to create prediction models for the HVAC system, all without human intervention. However, their IT team can monitor and troubleshoot the underlying cellular IoT connectivity as needed from any location through NetCloud.
In addition to IoT network management, Cradlepoint provides enterprise customers with the ability to manage in-vehicle and location connections on the same platform, creating even more efficiencies.
3. Plan for growth through IoT scalability
A successful 5G IoT solution should be highly scalable and able to accommodate inventory growth ranging from hundreds to thousands — regardless of IoT deployment challenges. The range of scalability is a result of equipment reliability and ease of setup and ongoing management. When a Cradlepoint router is needed in a new location, zero-touch deployment ensures the modem is ready for use as soon as a SIM is installed, the antennas are attached, and the device is plugged in.
YESCO, one of the world’s largest signage and digital outdoor display manufacturers, is best known for erecting the four-block Freemont Street Experience in Las Vegas. YESCO deploys and manages thousands of signs to locations across the U.S. and Canada and continues to grow at a rapid pace. Through NetCloud, their IT team can rapidly activate, configure, deploy, and manage connectivity to new signs, leading to increased uptime and productivity.
4. Prioritize reliable connectivity
Particularly in the areas of health and safety, reliable IoT connectivity is vital. Liveview Technologies is a leader in end-to-end live streaming of video surveillance. Their use of Cradlepoint’s dual-SIM modems allows their IoT routers to activate on different carriers based on condition, availability, or location, ensuring their video streams remain uninterrupted.
As a leader in this space, Cradlepoint writes proprietary software drivers for its modems, manages extensive relationships with carriers to better understand the networks, and carefully tunes those modems to the networks. This proactive relationship building is an important differentiator in the management of more than 1.6 million active devices in Cradlepoint NetCloud.
5. Seek out options that are highly extensible
When you include the ability to extend your enterprise IoT platform to other programming interfaces or development kits — including integration with Microsoft Azure or AWS Greengrass — you’re able to continuously and swiftly implement modifications, original ideas, and new technologies. “Living wall” designer Sagegreenlife showcased extensibility using Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Edge Connector to create a platform that remotely monitors the health of thousands of plants in customer locations through an application hosted on Microsoft Azure IoT Central.
Not only does high extensibility allow users to take their platform to another system, but it also means that system can work within a container and be easily moved from one computing environment to another.
The success of enterprise IoT solutions hinges on enterprise-class security, best-in-class remote management, high scalability, reliable connectivity, and extensibility. Those attributes coupled with best-in-class support and training make Cradlepoint an industry-leading provider of wireless edge solutions for IoT.