How to Modernize Device Connectivity

A healthy network makes up the nervous system of any modern organization that leverages IoT technology. Fast, safe, and reliable connections between devices empowers the many branches of a thriving business to stay in step with one another and keep moving forward. 

As technology continues to advance, maintaining these networks can become more complex, and often more expensive. But protecting, monitoring, and controlling the flow of your data is now more important than ever before. A modern approach to device connectivity becomes critical for companies who want to stay ahead of the curve.

So let’s discuss a few steps you can take to bring your connection strategy to the front-line of IoT networking.

What are we modernizing, anyway?

Even now, many IoT networks are restricted by limited provider scopes. 

Device connection solutions that are optimized for individual users tend to be prohibitively expensive for growing organizations. These typically charge a per-person use rate, rather than per-device. This means that enterprise or start-up organizations with a large or expanding number of devices on their network can expect to pay a premium for this kind of service.

And those that have been designed for industrial application are often married to that same provider’s in-house architecture. Implementing this solution could mean undertaking a total tech-overhaul if the business didn’t already have the right hardware in place. 

Even with a compatible tech stack, scaling up device connectivity might mean creating a makeshift,  overly-complex network to achieve the desired level of unification. This approach is possible, but dramatically slows device communication, and creates numerous and otherwise avoidable vulnerabilities to attack.

The rate at which technology is changing, and at which businesses are growing, means that most existing solutions just aren’t going to cut it. Rigid, immobile strategies must be updated to prioritize flexibility and speed, while also maintaining security and stability.

Here’s how you can make that happen.

Fast, reliable, scalable, and secure

These goals should always be central to the implementation of any contemporary device connectivity solution. These 4 best practices can help your company modernize its network, and achieve these goals.

Take a software-defined approach

It’s like trading in a boombox for Spotify, but with even less hardware. 

Previously, updating device connections or building new networks has required complicated manual hardware installation. 

Updating multi-device connectivity can happen painlessly and in seconds with a software-based solution. Stepping away from deployments that are dependent on hardware simplifies processes that are part of growth, such as setting up new networks, adding new devices, and moving to new locations.

This saves your organization time and money, and also makes device connectivity much easier to set up over long distances. With a software-defined solution, networking between devices in different continents can be as easy as clicking a button.

Centralize device monitoring

Traditional connectivity set-ups come with some major blind spots, especially in large-scale industrial networks. Fragmented views from different routers, LANs, etc. mean you have  to keep tabs separately on many different devices or networks. You might miss when something stops working if you’re not looking at the right page at the right time.

Your device monitoring strategy should unite all of your related networks and devices on a single dashboard. Having this holistic perspective will help you to keep better track of each of your machines, and act quickly if one goes offline. This approach also means you will know sooner if and when a device within a network requires standard maintenance, repair, etc.

Directly connect your distributed devices

Even devices on different continents can be connected as though they were in the same room. Virtual ethernet solutions directly connect remote devices via a peer-to-peer mesh network. Upon install, smart routing works to discover the simplest pathway between each device, however far apart they may be. This enables faster and more reliable communication, monitoring, and data collection. 

This direct connection also gives you better control and a stronger view over your networks, allowing you to avoid complications from third-party networks that might block access or issue otherwise unnecessary security challenges.

Bolster your digital security strategy

Fragmented set-ups across networks you don’t own can create all kinds of security concerns. You lack control and monitoring privileges when using a network operated by a third-party. And, the complicated configurations you have to set up to make your connectivity functional creates a greater attack surface that’s easier for black hat hackers to compromise.

Luckily, following the three best practices already listed above can put your connectivity into a more secure state:

  • Software-based connection solutions mean no complex hardware setups or opportunities for human error that leave holes in your armor. 
  • Centralized device monitoring allows you to keep a close eye on operations, and receive immediate alerts if something goes wrong. 
  • Direct connections offer greater privacy, connecting all devices on one network that you provision and control. .

But you can do more to protect your data, once these three practices are met. Modern solutions offer high-level encryption to further protect your data en route between devices. And, unique cryptographic IDs ensure only authorized devices can connect to your networks. 

So what’s next?

ZeroTier can help

ZeroTier makes global networking simple. ZeroTier’s contemporary approach to device connectivity helps to improve the speed, stability, and security of any network. With ZeroTier, you can empower your team to create global private networks that connect your devices directly to each other, no matter where they are in the world.

Get started with ZeroTier today.