Can you afford the hidden costs of multiple IoT gateway software platforms?

by Conny Franzén

Conny Franzén

Conny Franzén, CEO IOPSYS

Business as usual might be comfortable, but it comes at a cost. For service providers and gateway manufacturers within the connected home, revealing costs associated with maintaining multiple IoT gateway software platforms may result in searching for more innovative investments.

Uncovering real expenses

Today, many service providers and gateway manufacturers share common challenges in sustaining siloed software platforms for their hardware. Relying on proprietary software has many hidden costs to consider. Here is what you should think about and apply to your business to calculate expenses.

1. This way of working is expensive to maintain.

Supporting multiple software platforms on different hardware architectures will often require several R&D teams and a larger support organization to maintain the devices in the field.

2. Developer resources work on updates and patches instead of enabling new products and services.

Troubleshooting, updating and patching existing software will occupy a reasonable amount of time for developers. As a result, little time and effort are spent developing new services to enhance the customer experience.

3. Time to market and scale up are slow

Maintaining multiple proprietary software will slow the implementation of new products and software functionality.

4. Difficult to meet customer needs means loss of potential revenue

Service providers are traditionally too busy maintaining the install base, preventing them from exploring new business opportunities.

5. Return on investment is marginal

Heavy investments are dedicated to resources and the average revenue per unit is marginal.

Opting for separating hardware from the software

Choosing hardware agnostic software is a viable alternative to managing multiple broadband and IoT gateway software platforms. In addition, using an open-source operating system means you have an independent software solution that is not locked with the hardware.
IOWRT is an example of an independent open-source operating system (OS) based on OpenWrt*, a Linux open-source software targeting embedded devices. Because of the open standards, you are better equipped to validate and ensure consistent software across products regardless of the hardware.

Shedding light on gains

A flexible hardware independent open-source operating system can offer considerable savings, including:

  • Reduced investment in maintenance and support leads to lower operating costs (OPEX)
  • Possibility to run competitive requests for quotes across all types of hardware suppliers with maintained software functionality resulting in lower capital expenditure (CapEx)
  • Increased revenue by enhanced customer experience and new services, including third-party applications.
  • Optimized staffing in terms of time and skills. With one software, resources are devoted to the necessary updating and patching and developing new functionality and services. Over time, the teams become very skilled and can perform tasks in less time.
  • Faster time to market and agility to scale. Over time, having one common software architecture with support for multiple hardware will significantly reduce the time to market for both new products and software functionality. You can expect a potential reduction of time to market by more than 50%.

*OpenWrt is a trademark owned by software in the Public Interest, Inc.

Guide for CSPs: why separating software from hardware can generate more business value

This guide is intended for CSPs in the digital home market, offering consumers Wi-Fi routers, residential gateways, and extenders as part of their broadband services. It provides the rationale for why separating software (SW) from hardware (HW) can positively impact CSPs’ business and outlines the key benefits of decoupling SW and HW.


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