Featured Article from Software Licensing

How to Optimize the Software Supply Chain for IoT Success

February 23, 2017

Knowing where your inventory or packages are in the shipping process is a valuable, and now widely available, capability. And now the Internet of Things is elevating that experience by providing additional information on things like handling, humidity, light exposure, temperature, and other parameters.

And that makes for a much more intelligent and effective supply chain.

Having a larger and richer set of data about product – whether those goods are in a warehouse, en route to customers or others in the supply chain, or at their destination point – can result in more accountability, greater visibility, and less spoilage and waste. That’s particularly important when you look at IoT applications addressing the supply chain involved in such deliverables as medicine, produce, and seafood.

In the process it can also lower human resources costs to locate the goods, and lessen the costs of fuel and vehicle maintenance. Just look at what online grocery retailer Ocado is doing. Its vans have been outfitted with IoT sensors to log vehicle location, braking, cornering speed, engine revs, fuel consumption, and more. That enables it to identify the best routes going forward, among other things.

“IoT is allowing the supply chain to come alive,” writes Dale Benton for Supply Chain Management. “It allows for much greater tracking and intelligence throughout the supply chain than has ever been possible before – connecting people, processes, and data via devices and sensors. In fact, many predict that IoT will lead to a complete redesign of many existing supply chain processes.”

That’s good. But today many producers have disjointed software supply chain processes. And that leads to inconsistent user experiences and can make it difficult to deliver updates and patches. Worse yet, it can create the potential for security vulnerabilities.

However, an automated and optimized software supply chain reduces the attack surface of IoT, lets IoT providers automate processes, and enables them move toward flexible monetization models.

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Edited by Maurice Nagle
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