Today, the world’s raving about the tens of smart devices that are re-defining the various aspects of life in a digital world. From buying groceries and watching movies to consulting doctors and making hotel reservations, we all do so much using these smart devices. But for once, let’s take a step back and think. Is it just these smart devices that make things easy for us? What about doors that open on their own to let you in/out or bulbs that light automatically when you are in the vicinity or POS terminals at store counters?
These devices may not be smart, but they are definitely very useful. And there are so many of them everywhere. In business/commercial facilities, there are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of such devices. For most, the settings can be adjusted by establishing a connection with a smart device over Bluetooth/Wi-Fi. However, it’s a daunting, time-consuming task to change the settings for each of them individually so they all behave in a certain way. And that’s precisely why some of these tasks, which can probably help businesses save money or streamline processes, never make it to the top of the to-do list.
Yes, facility management is a herculean task, to say the least – right from keeping a track of supplies to ensuring that everything is up and running. While good inventory management and a reliable supply chain can help tackle the former, the challenges with the latter still continue to make admins lose sleep. The lack of a mechanism to monitor and secure devices means that, more often than not, they end up taking reactive measures. To add to their woes, IT admins have a hard time identifying the real problem when users call up to report issues regarding non-functioning or malfunctioning peripherals/accessories.
IT admins have a hard time identifying the real problem when users call up to report issues regarding non-functioning or malfunctioning peripherals/accessories.
In fact, according to them the ability to provision, control and monitor ‘not-so-smart’ devices would take a major chunk off their plate. And that makes facility managers wish there were a way to manage and control all of these at one go – a technology that could allow these devices to be on-boarded and deployed in bulk, organized into groups for ease of management, monitored and updated remotely.
Well, it is possible now, despite the fact that these devices do not have an operating system. That’s the charm of technology – what’s deemed impossible today can become the norm tomorrow. The ramifications of this, especially in the business context, is significant. It’s not just limited to the convenience that it promises; a capability such as this brings a lot more to the table. For example, setting the luminosity of all lights in a building at 70% during daytime can save a business a lot of money. And so can reducing the intensity on printers across all the offices a company has across the world.
For a little more context, imagine grouping all the sensors in a car and grouping all the cars in a fleet such that the devices inherit access policies on the basis of group hierarchy. Now consider this: What if IT admins could get alerts every time a device were cradled or taken out of its cradle, or they could lock all the cradles at a specific time (at once) post a shift?
It’s a big leap, considering we only had means to communicate with objects that have operating systems to receive and process commands until now. And it’s amazing how the ability to keep a tab on peripherals and accessories can change the way businesses view device management today. With ‘connected’ devices coming under the purview of unified endpoint management, businesses will assume a more granular control over their assets. And this is going to have a staggering impact on how businesses are run. There’s a slew of ‘things’ they will be able to track, and all they’ll need is a connector. It’s just a matter of time before organizations also start talking about ROI in terms of device and accessory health.
As an innovative technology, Things Management is poised to bring about a paradigm shift in device management – one that will benefit businesses across industries.