IoT Device Management


The Ultimate Guide to IoT Device Management

The internet of things (IoT) is a system of connected devices using sensors to collect data and exchange it with other systems. IoT devices help businesses connect previously isolated systems, unlocking nearly limitless opportunities for data collection and efficiency improvements. Organizations need an IoT device management strategy to take advantage of this potential

Enterprise IoT already accounts for about 75% of the overall IoT market. This explosive growth requires businesses to manage spending and device utilization without overburdening their IT departments.

IoT device management solves these challenges and helps businesses get more value out of their technology investment. Learn more about IoT device management, its challenges and why Tangoe’s solution stands out.

What Is IoT Device Management?

IoT device management involves the centralized management of IoT devices from procurement to decommissioning. This process can include anything from smart devices like sensors and cameras to gateways and controllers. IoT device management includes support for services such as enrollment and authentication, inventory management and firmware updates. It also includes remote management and troubleshooting.

Managing IoT devices involves collecting data about device location and usage. This process also includes analyzing that data and taking relevant actions related to maintenance, repair, optimization and replacement. As more IoT-connected devices are integrated into critical business functions, cost-efficient management becomes even more important to business success.

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What Are the Challenges of Managing IoT Devices?

Managing IoT devices is a cyclical process that starts with procurement and ends with decommissioning. This cycle also includes expense management and other financial considerations. ‌The variety of manufacturers, providers and IoT systems further complicate this process. Here are some of the biggest challenges associated with managing IoT devices.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is the process of creating visibility into device inventory, storage, usage and expenses. This type of visibility is especially important for finance and IT leaders. Organizations need to track direct and indirect IoT device expenses, including purchase costs, maintenance costs and service fees. They can only do that when there’s an accurate, real-time count of the inventory in use and in storage.


Procuring IoT devices involves several steps, from identifying devices to order management and supply chain tracking. Identification can be challenging because of the sheer number of IoT devices available, each with its own specifications and use cases. From there, teams have to consider whether their desired devices are in sufficient supply at the right price point.

Even when ordering goes smoothly, there’s the risk of delays caused by supply chain and shipping problems. Any of these issues can extend the timeline for device deployment, leading to reduced productivity, increased costs and even project delays.


IoT device compliance includes corporate operational and security guidelines, as well as regulatory and legal requirements related to data privacy and cybersecurity.

Your IT team needs visibility into device configurations, software versions and security protocols. Businesses need to monitor for regulatory changes, especially when expanding operations into new jurisdictions.

Managing Physical Devices

Deployment, shipping, kitting and logistics of getting devices into the hands of users is a significant challenge when managing IoT devices. The logistics involved include getting devices to the right location and conducting initial setup and configuration. Companies must ensure that ‌devices are securely installed and connected to the IoT network.

The responsibility for managing physical devices continues throughout the lifecycle. Companies must have processes for managing the maintenance and repair of IoT devices. One challenge for some companies is physically accessing remote or hard-to-reach devices.

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Repairs, Maintenance and Software Updates
IoT devices might need inspection, maintenance or repair, whether to the device itself or to its software. When employees experience issues, they need quick, easy access to support, such as a live help desk. As more devices are integrated into the enterprise, keeping track of updates and repairs can quickly become overwhelming. Contracts, schedules and operating systems vary across devices. Businesses need a central way to track this activity in a cost-effective manner.
Decommissioning and Recycling

IoT devices continue to present challenges after they’re removed from services, notably with how to dispose of them. Companies may choose to repurpose, dispose of or recycle devices. Data security is a key concern here, as devices shouldn’t leave the business with any potentially sensitive data.

Another option is a buy-back program, where businesses sell used devices back to the manufacturer or to a third-party company that refurbishes them.


Companies need to track and manage the costs associated with purchasing, maintaining and repairing IoT devices. These costs include mobile service charges, invoices and payments. Other expense considerations include cost validations, reconciliations and allocations to whatever project, department or activity should be accountable for the expense.

Expense data must be complete, visible, properly assigned and updated in real time. Only then can companies make informed decisions about upgrades, replacements and investments. Poor expense tracking and management leads to inaccurate cost assumptions and forecasts that create overspending and underutilization.

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Cost Optimization

Identifying opportunities for resource and expense management is an ongoing challenge for enterprise organizations. Cost optimization can manifest itself by preventing overspending and duplicate investment, but it can also take the form of opportunities.

For example, by leveraging cloud-based IoT devices, companies reduce the cost of physical infrastructure and manual work. IoT devices also provide valuable data and analytics that can improve decision-making and yield indirect cost savings through operational improvements.

How Does IoT Device Management Improve Auditing, Expense Management and Optimization?

Effective IoT device management provides a centralized approach to managing connected devices. Here are key ways IoT device management improves auditing, expense management and optimization processes.

Auditing and Inventory Management

Effective IoT device management starts with an audit of all devices. You also need data on usage, inventory and device upgrades, especially for point-of-sale (POS) and mobile devices. These upgrades require coordination with service providers and can be costly if not managed properly.

IoT device management solutions provide deep visibility into the library of devices, their current status and their usage data. With this visibility, you can make informed decisions about allocating resources and optimizing workflows for large device fleets across the lifecycle.

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Expense Management

IoT device management solutions help businesses streamline the invoice and billing process. By consolidating all expenses related to IoT devices to a single platform, businesses gain a clearer understanding of their spending and reduce the time and effort required to manage invoices, pay vendors and keep devices running 24/7.

This improved visibility helps businesses make data-driven decisions about costs and further optimize their spending. Taking advantage of features such as automated payments and proactive monitoring prevents unexpected problems and reduces the risk of downtime and nonpayment penalties.

Optimization for More Efficient Use of IoT Devices

With advanced analytics and optimization tools, businesses can identify IoT devices that are underutilized or can be reassigned. These solutions can also help businesses identify the most cost-effective service plans, devices and other options.

What Are the Benefits of Effective IoT Device Management?

IoT devices help organizations have greater control over their business. It allows them to collect and share critical business information without disrupting workflows or requiring significant manual workloads. Effectively managing these devices also enables organizations to realize these key benefits.

Greater Efficiency and Productivity

The best way to manage this complicated ecosystem is through a single IoT device management platform that funnels all this activity. With a central, trusted source for device procurement, management, security, bill payment and analytics, you can access information more quickly and spend less time managing vendors and suppliers.

IoT device management solutions consolidate tasks that were either performed manually or across many systems. By automating and reducing manual labor, employees have more time for other work.

The monitoring provided by IoT device management ensures usage is optimized based on real-time data while reducing the risk and length of downtime and the associated costs.

Stronger Security

IoT device management helps businesses protect the sensitive data generated and transmitted by IoT devices while complying with relevant requirements around data privacy. IoT devices generate all sorts of potentially sensitive data, including such as personally identifiable information, financial information and confidential business data.

IoT device management can provide businesses with a comprehensive security solution that covers the entire lifecycle of devices, including secure device provisioning, over-the-air updates and device decommissioning. It also helps businesses manage device security at scale, providing centralized security policy management and enforcement across multiple devices, networks and IoT applications.

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Cost Savings

IoT device management improves visibility into IoT devices, giving you greater control over ongoing and new costs — and the ability to negotiate contracts and project costs going forward.

Cost savings are also easier to identify because the business sees where IoT devices are being underused or where workflows can be improved. Savings are indirectly possible, too, by spotting which IoT devices are most used and have the biggest impact. Further investment in those devices can improve efficiency and reduce overall costs by redirecting spending from less effective areas.

What Makes Tangoe’s IoT Device Management Different?

Businesses need an IoT device management solution that provides accurate inventory management, maintenance support, advanced analytics and more. Tangoe stands out as the premier choice in IoT device and IT expense management.

Tangoe’s innovative solutions lead the IT asset and expense management industry, with over 65 patents and nine-time recognition as a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services. Our deep industry knowledge and access to comprehensive data generates this level of success.

Our solutions track and manage more than 14 million devices across 400 technology providers in 200 countries. Managing such large groups of devices provides unparalleled insights into the industry and allows us to offer a wider range of recommendations and options to our clients. We leverage this knowledge and experience to elevate our services and maximize the value we deliver. Here’s what you can expect from the Tangoe difference.

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Simplified Management

Businesses can simplify the management of all individual devices across the lifecycle from a single solution with Tangoe One, a comprehensive platform for technology expense and lifecycle management.

Using a single platform reduces the burden on IT department resources and allows them to focus on other critical tasks. Tangoe’s automation tools also speed up deployment processes, including device setup and authentication.

Improved Security

Tangoe’s IoT solution helps businesses ‌control devices throughout their useful life, which protects against security threats, compliance violations and other risks.

Tangoe’s unified endpoint management (UEM) minimizes network vulnerabilities and protects IoT devices from security threats. With always-connected data, ongoing threat monitoring and mitigation and cross-platform mobile security, the service offers mobile security defense and management from a single location.

Cost Savings

With Tangoe, businesses gain immediate visibility into cost optimization opportunities. Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities can provide insights into device usage, performance and where expenses can be reduced. Organizations can leverage this data to make more informed decisions to optimize their IoT device management and reduce costs.

Tangoe helps businesses stay on top of expenses by providing visibility into billing and contract information, allowing for cost validation and expense allocation. This ultimately leads to more efficient use of resources, better financial management and increased profitability.

Help Desk Support

Tangoe’s IoT device management solution offers a dedicated customer support team with expertise in IoT device management. They provide remote troubleshooting and fixing of issues like connectivity and service problems without the need for on-site IT support personnel. This saves time and money while reducing downtime and business disruption. Tangoe ensures that device-related problems are resolved quickly and efficiently.

Ease of Use

Tangoe’s IoT device management solution seamlessly integrates with existing IT systems and applications, making it easy for businesses to manage their IoT devices alongside other assets.

Tangoe One offers simplified management from a central location, along with insights powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Tangoe’s deep expertise in IoT management bridges any remaining knowledge gaps.

Learn how Tangoe’s IoT management solution helps analyze, manage and expand your IoT device fleet from one platform.

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