Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Device Fleet – Mason
Businesses of all sizes own fleets of devices, including mobile devices, scanners, wearables, POS systems, kiosks, and more for use by employees, customers, suppliers, and contractors. As the company grows, the fleet size increases, and so does the complexity. Rolling out new devices, deploying these devices into new places, and dealing with aging hardware and software all increase the likelihood that your fleet will encounter challenges during its lifetime. Ultimately, companies have to identify and manage these issues as soon as possible.
Here are the most common challenges experienced when managing and scaling a device fleet within your organization.
Difficulties in Compatibility or Availability
As soon as you realize your devices are running smoothly, you may decide to add more devices so that you can expand your fleet to additional users or upgrade devices for several user groups over time. But while purchasing a few units designed and tested for broader consumers with no customizations may seem like a reasonable decision, you may have to deal with issues such as the inability to stay connected, lower quality, design faults, and incompatibility with custom-built apps. Consumer device lifecycles also tend to be short, at approximately 2 years – procurement and avoiding device fragmentation can become problematic. These issues can make it hard for you to keep everything compatible and consistent. Similarly, the products may not meet the customers’ and employees’ needs, leading to a challenge with user experience.
Solution: Instead of purchasing devices off-the-shelf, ensure the devices are developed and customized to meet the needs of the business while keeping in mind the users’ experience. A partner that offers customized fleet devices at scale is the best solution!
Increased Security Risks
By now, your IT team is already dealing with the challenge of managing multiple devices within the organization without a local IT infrastructure to troubleshoot problems as they arise. With so many devices to manage, the device fleet management is prone to malware, which could compromise security. This malware could be passed on to a larger fleet of disparate devices if users log in from the infected device. Software bloat which comes with consumer devices, can also open up your device to various risks.
Solution: Ensure your fleet management software has built-in security features compatible with all devices to update and implement security procedures that are standard across the fleet. Also, consider devices with low software bloat or applications that are not required for your business use case. This helps to reduce the risks associated with malware and reduces the burden on your IT department — allowing them to detect possible security risks on time before they affect the entire system.
Incompatible Updates and Modifications
When managing a growing device fleet, timely software updates are necessary to keep the devices operating securely and optimally. This means having the same response time for every device as the number of requests grows.
For companies that handle thousands of device fleets, internal IT teams lack the bandwidth to deploy sizable software updates to the fleet all at once. Unfortunately, using aging legacy systems with no regular updates comes with much bigger risks in terms of cybersecurity breaches. The financial repercussions and reputation damage that can arise from these cybersecurity attacks can severely impact a business’s bottom line.
Solution: Technologies that provide complete control with over-the-air (OTA) updates mean that you can schedule patches and other updates to the devices based on your needs. The updates can be scheduled automatically across all devices, ensuring updates are done on time and are compatible with the devices.
Lack of Appropriate Application and Industry Expertise
Accessing and managing a large fleet of devices can be challenging. Since new products require a new way of delivering them, most IT teams lack the expertise to develop and manage hardware internally. They don’t have enough knowledge on how to source, develop, deploy, manage, and secure devices. Additionally, some devices may certifications and customizations based on location to meet local regulations and the needs of the customers in a certain local market. For instance, security requirements and protocols may vary, requiring the organization to make adjustments as needed. This can further lead to complexity and even lead to unnecessary errors that could compromise your company’s security.
Solution: A platform with experience in creating industry-specific devices that operate in a range of environments and for multiple use cases can help address these challenges and remove the burden on your staff. This allows them to use the devices optimally and focus on being as productive as possible.
Maintenance is essential to increase the lifespan of your fleet of devices. As you scale your device fleet, an organization often faces the challenge of device maintenance. Whether it’s a simple battery replacement or more serious repairs, it’s important to have a streamlined workflow in place, so that everyone on the team understands what is expected of them. Specialized devices will require specialized applications that perform self-maintenance utilizing fewer device resources and rebooting when needed.
Solution: When it comes to choosing software for your device fleet management, ensure it’s developed with custom operating systems and custom apps capability, and that it’s optimized for high performance.
Overcoming The Challenges of Scaling Your Device Fleet with The Right Tool
Effective device fleet management starts with using the right tools. Whether it’s tracking your assets and expenses or even managing your maintenance workflows, you need a hardware partner that can deliver limitless control of the entire product and lifecycle.
Mason offers a fleet management suite designed to provide end-to-end control over all your devices. With an easy-to-use interface, you can perform basic commands using APIs to support your fleet and automatically wipe data, check updates, shut down, or even reset devices at your own convenience. Since Mason owns it’s own hardware, it also means there is parity between the hardware and the tooling, so you can fully utilize all features of your device fleet. The Mason Smart Device Platform further gives you granular access to remove, add, or even lockdown capabilities to allow you to create highly customized products that meet the customer’s needs.
To learn more about how you can get started and scale your device fleet management, request a demo with our team today!