Why Leading Organizations Are Investing in Dedicated Devices


Forbes predicts that 29 billion IoT devicesOpens a new window will be connected to the internet by 2022. Yadhu Gopalan, CEO of Esper, sheds light on the dedicated device space based on the latest research and explains why organizations are investing in them.

With a massive market leveraging these devices to connect with customers, you’d think everyone would be clambering to understand better what makes this industry tick. Still, the information surrounding dedicated devices – and the organizations that depend on them – didn’t exist. Until now.

Insights into the Dedicated Devices Space

Esper partnered with 451 Research to get unique insightsOpens a new window into the dedicated device landscape’s challenges, trends, and opportunities. Why? Because organizations rely on these dedicated devices as mission-critical infrastructure and deserve to have the most current and relevant information available. 

Here’s what we learned.

1. Lean into a long-term dedicated device strategy or get left behind

Knowing there are already 10s of billions of connected devices, it is no surprise that dedicated devices are here to stay, but those figures are just the beginning. Organizations are growing their hardware fleets and committing to building better customer experiences through application development.

451’s data revealed that device fleet size would grow substantially. Today, around half of all organizations manage more than 1000 devices, but 69% of organizations expect to reach that scale in the next three years. And 18% of organizations will control over 10,000 devices in the next three years. 

These numbers sound ambitious but considering that businesses aren’t only managing one type of hardware — a point-of-sale tablet, an order kiosk, and a warehouse scanner could easily all exist in the same organization — device counts can rise quickly with even moderate company growth. Though the most common device deployed today is mobile tablets, over the next three years, companies expect to add ultra-small form factors such as nanocomputers, AR/VR hardware, and digital signage. 

Along with an increase in fleet size, companies will invest in software development budgets, with 93% of respondents reporting an expected growth over the next 24 months. So the trend is clear, leading organizations understand the value of investing in dedicated hardware, and they’re going all-in.

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2. Android is the right choice for dedicated device fleets

Choosing an operating system for your hardware can feel complex when considering costs, ease of use, security, and scalability. But in my 25 years of building the infrastructure for dedicated edge devices, the answer revealed itself quite plainly — the right choice is Android. And thankfully, the data shows this is becoming even more evident to leading organizations. 

The 451 data shows that Android (including AOSP and Android with Google Apps or GMS) accounted for 41% of devices operating systems, alongside Microsoft Windows (26%), Apple iOS (24%), and Linux 8%. And businesses are making the shift to Android with intention. These organizations reported they’re switching to Android for a lower total cost of ownership (59%), more robust development features, and platforms (57%), and sophisticated security features (52%)

Android is the most cost-effective and adaptable operating system that’s also supported by a larger developer ecosystem than any other platform. Want long-term flexibility, security, and stability while attracting a vast network of developers? Easy — go with Android. 

3. Dedicated devices need DevOps to scale innovation

MDM for dedicated devices is dead, and that’s more true now than it ever was. It’s dead in that it was never alive —  it wasn’t built for dedicated devices, so nearly 75% of 451 Research’s survey respondents said their MDM is a problem. Citing reasons such as complexity, a poor user interface, and lacking support for their hardware, it’s no surprise modern organizations are frustrated. 

And the solution isn’t just about what features you want or need. It’s about changing your entire approach to managing hardware and software. And that change is called DevOps. ‘An entire change’ might sound intimidating, but DevOps is, above all else, a change in your mindset — one that’s focused on high-velocity code changes and deployments based on customer feedback and telemetry in continuous loops. It’s not about ripping out all your hardware and starting from the beginning (in fact, with DevOps, your hardware can last longer). It’s about changing how you solve your device — and customer experience — challenges.

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How DevOps Can Transform Dedicated Hardware

Let’s look at three ways DevOps enables growing organizations to transform their approach to dedicated hardware.

    1. Managing by exception: With 68% of organizations expected to manage over 1000 devices in the next three years, managing by individual devices is no longer an option. Organizations need to manage by exception, which can only be achieved with the kind of intelligent monitoring and real-time data accessible with DevOps.
    2. Automate everything: It’s possible to get started with DevOps while some manual processes are still in place, but DevOps empowers teams to experience full automation, which should be the ultimate goal. In this intelligent device state, organizations can focus their full attention on innovation and creating exceptional customer experiences with the confidence that nothing will break.
    3. Updates when you want and need them: Freely shipping software updates is the key to transforming into a modern business. Sending updates at will means responding to customer needs faster than they anticipate and delighting them in the process. And leading device-dependent organizations are striving toward the agility that cloud-based companies have enjoyed for years. In fact, the number of dedicated device apps released in a DevOps manner will double from 35% to 64% over the next three years.

The data is clear, and the time to invest in your dedicated device strategy is now. Leverage the unlimited capabilities of DevOps for Android-powered devices and watch your business transform into a modern, agile, customer-centric organization.

Are you planning to increase spend on dedicated devices? Tell us what you think on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!