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article imageIntel unveils software platform that automates IoT deployments

By James Walker     Oct 3, 2017 in Technology
Intel has announced an IoT deployment solution to make it easier for operators to bring devices online. The company said that launching new networks is too costly, time-consuming and risky, warning that the entire industry is at risk of stagnation.
Intel said that predictions of IoT proliferation are overexaggerated and have had to be scaled back due to deployment issues. The company said the "reality" is that IoT installations are progressing at a much slower rate than some industry members suggest. It said that "close to 30 billion" devices could be online by 2020, down from estimations of 50 billion devices back in 2010.
New tech, old problem
According to Intel, this scale-down of IoT isn't due to a lack of interest or vision for the technology. Instead, its growth is being hampered by traditional technical troubles around installation and manageability. For all the hype around the possibilities offered by IoT, firms are having to put new infrastructure plans on hold due to limitations with the devices themselves.
Enter SDO
Intel's new Secure Device Onboard (SDO) platform is meant to solve these issues. It allows IoT devices to securely bring themselves online, eliminating the need for a skilled technician to individually configure each product. Intel claimed that device setup typically takes an engineer "more than 20 minutes for a single device," making a deployment of thousands or tens of thousands of items unfeasible.
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Secure Device Onboard cuts the deployment time down from hours to seconds. All the devices communicate securely with the network, avoiding cybersecurity risks. The platform allows network administrators to onboard thousands of devices within minutes, unblocking large-scale IoT implementation plans in industry applications.
The catch?
Intel's ambitious plans come with one big caveat though. For Secure Device Onboard to be successful, it has to work with every area of the IoT ecosystem. For a device to be compatible, its silicon provider, hardware platform and backend cloud ecosystem must all have added support for Secure Device Onboard.
These prerequisites mean it may be some time before a large selection of compatible products are available. If a company then chooses to add more devices that can't connect, they'll still need to send technicians to set them up.
The bigger picture for IoT
Intel doesn't want SDO to be seen as an attempt to dominate the market. Although an industry shift to SDO would see Intel tech baked into almost all IoT products, the company said its aims aren't focused on individual success.
SDO will be available for free and is intended to move the entire industry forward by making large-scale IoT deployments viable. Intel IoT vice president Dipti Vachani expressed frustration at the current market, telling ZDNet that IoT is "stagnant" because fundamental connectivity concerns haven't been addressed.
Intel wants device manufacturers and ecosystem providers to accept SDO as a way to unblock IoT implementations and benefit everyone in the field. Intel will leverage its corporate scale to help scale IoT, an initiative that will grow the industry and could generate substantial financial rewards down the line.
More about Intel, IoT, internet of things, Cloud, digital transformation
 
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