The true cost of not updating your devices

If you’re a B2C IoT company – with Christmas and the CES behind you – it’s maybe a slightly more relax time of the year since your best sales are done or on the way to be done.

Well, only if you have a good dedicated support team because most problems are now ahead and will appear as consumers receive your product. Here’s a comprehensive list of the biggest problems you’ll have:

  • Defect hardware
  • Firmware bugs
  • Connectivity problems
  • Instructions not clear enough for customers
  • Security (and privacy) breaches

Most of the problems could be solved by a simple, well tested and fast to deploy software update. The costs of not doing it are usually ignored so let me describe what it could cost you:

  • If 1% of your 100.000 recently acquired users experiment a problem with your 100$ device, this will go like this:
    • 1.000 users will complain by phone, mail, social networks and in most case, unless you’re quick enough to answer, this will go public and impact your reputation
    • You’ll have to proceed with the refund of one third of them (that’s 33.300$ here)
    • And a return for the two other third: shipping costs plus human cost for manually updating the devices might go as up as 100.000$

So every piece of this scenario is real money for you to spend on things that could easily be avoided by as little as 1000$/year thanks to Barracks.

But now, let’s say everything goes fine and no customer wants to return your product (despite we all know this is not going to happen). If you don’t have the ability to provide an easy solution for software updates, your product will slowly lose its value in the eyes of your customers. You might want to plan a version 2 of your hardware to keep the magic happening but what if one of your competitors is faster than you? It could be by releasing a competiting hardware, or it could be just a new set of features on existing hardware but in both cases, some of your customers will buy your competitors product.

This is new products you could have sold if you had a way to keep adding value in your product over the time.

Finally, let’s say that everything went well with your first product, then your second, etc. Your first product is still on production and many users rely on it. What can it cost your company if this product is hacked and is used for anything illegal?

You may face legal actions but you will also lose something very precious: the trust of your clients. To them, it doesn’t change anything if they have your third product and only your first one has been a security problem: your whole company is seen as not trustable. It will cost you a lot of effort of communication to restore your branding.

Security updates on a regular basis cost almost nothing if you’re well equiped. And they can save the reputation of your company.

If you want to know how Barracks can help you save substancial costs, contact us now.