By: Steve Schmidt
Making device lifecycle management more pervasive requires two key ingredients: 1) Additional device intelligence (devices with sufficient processing power and embedded software) and 2) Internet connectivity. For high-tech manufacturers, providing additional device intelligence will allow the device to be initially configured, updated, monitored and remotely supported. The device will be able to log usage levels, confirm successful reconfiguration, report on physical status, and provide a trial of new capabilities, among other activities that take full advantage the second ingredient, internet connectivity.
So how does device intelligence become pervasive? At the recent AMR Research (Gartner) Supply Chain Executive conference, Brian Krzanish (Intel's Senior VP and General Manager of Manufacturing and Supply Chain) discussed "The Foundations of Information Infrastructure: View from Semiconductor". In the presentation, it was pointed out that –" Intel's new capabilities enable the future of 'smart'". Intel is producing high volumes of low cost processors for all types of devices. They generally have 5 generations of processors under production at any given time. Since each generation of technology lasts approximately 2 years, they have 10 years of technology in production, with each generation at a different price point. We are at the stage that even 10 year old technology is a good enabler for intelligent devices, and the fabrication facilities can produce in tremendous volume and low cost.
In the Q&A session following the presentation, it was stated that Intel is "getting smartness into the supply chain". Along with other processor providers, they are enabling goods (intelligent devices and systems) that travel through the supply chain more innately capable of streamlining the supply chain. A secondary, out-of-band tracking and configuration mechanism to support the supply chain will decrease in importance. The device itself, leveraging embedded software with software licensing and entitlement management technologies, will report on its status, support a strategy of postponed configuration, and flexibly reconfigure or retire itself. This type of capability will provide positive reinforcement within the system, accelerating its evolution in this direction.
Where and how do you see device intelligence becoming pervasive?