The Internet of Things (IoT)

By Wren York

The Internet of Things (IoT), sometimes referred to as “machine to machine communication technologies”, is the label for devices that are equipped with microchips, sensors or anything with wireless communications capabilities. Trends in the production of micro chips have continued to lower the costs of integrating them with nearly any day-to-day device. These “smart devices” are able to send and receive with other network-connected devices, record and track statistics about their operation, and even run a series of programmed commands. This unprecedented level of inter-connectedness makes it is easy to see why these devices are proliferating so quickly into consumer and business markets. It is not enough for companies to passively observe this growing trend. By the end of 2015, nearly 14 billion smart devices were already available to consumers and businesses and this number is expected to grow, explosively, in the near future. Following are several compelling reasons companies should be paying attention to the integration of smart devices in industry and taking steps to ensure the readiness of their infrastructure now:

Insufficient policies surrounding management, security, and accessibility.

Only 30% of surveyed companies (Smart Industry’s 2016 State of Initiative Report) feel they will be ready to fully embrace the IoT within the next 5 years. This leaves 70% unsure of their ability to secure their network or manage connectivity with smart devices in the near future. Lack of business-impact data, employee skills-gap, and immaturity of standards all ranked highly as areas of concern. Denial-of-Service attacks, insecure endpoints, and lack of bandwidth are only a few of the increased risks brought on by the adoption of smart devices. Risk of data compromise or loss is a tremendous area of accountability. It is essential to be proactive in securing networks and data access.

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Network infrastructure deficiencies.

Devices ranging from copy machines and phones to manufacturing equipment and security systems are being designed as “smart devices”. If it’s a part of doing business – it’s going to be connected to the Internet. This asks the question – how will the increased demand on network resources affect companies’ infrastructure? Studies have indicated businesses will see an exponential increase in network resource usage over the next few years. Most business networks were not designed with the bandwidth to manage such a large number of connected devices. Inadequate resources can lead to reduction of productivity, data loss, and disruption of front-end applications. Rather than attempting to block and minimize smart device access, companies need to bolster and prepare their networks for the proliferation of these devices into industry.

Up to 50 billion IoT-enabled devices by 2020.

The IoT is steaming ahead, regardless of companies’ readiness for adoption. Vehicles, wearables, business equipment, and tools are all being interconnected via network communication. There’s no excuse not to see the impact that the IoT will have on business infrastructure. A growing number of business leaders are indicating that the IoT will profoundly impact companies over the next 5 years. Reports reveal that organizations are increasingly beginning to fund IoT application pilots and roll-outs and that there is an overall shift towards building formalized plans for dealing with smart device security and optimization. The evidence is clear that day-to-day business will include the use of such devices and smart companies will be prepared to embrace this technology trend.

Leveraging IoT technology to optimize business.

Studies show trillions of dollars are saved in markets like the health and manufacturing sectors by embracing smart devices (McKinsey Global Institute 2013). Accurate reporting of output and resource depletion; traffic management, waste and water services, and other improved services for citizens offer dramatic improvements and reduce costs in multiple markets. These savings are expected to create billions in revenue growth and productivity over the next 10 years. Employee productivity and workplace safety are also improved with business’ adoption of IoT-enabled devices. Availability of real-time data, measuring equipment health, efficiency, and productivity creates both an opportunity and a deficiency as companies may lack the resources to collect and compile the data into usable metrics.

Modern Data can help companies prepare for the growing IoT trend in industry. Offering expertise and a diverse knowledge base and staff, Modern Data understands the challenges and opportunities afforded by this spreading market. Contact Modern Data, today, at 855-MODERNDATA (+1 855-663-3763) or info@www.moderndata.com, and speak to a consultant on how Modern Data can optimize your network and technology infrastructure, ensuring your company is not one of the 70% concerned about their ability to successfully utilize the IoT to boost them into the future.

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About Wren


Wren Kelly York is a Senior Systems Administrator with nearly 17 years experience in public and private sector Information Technology. Most notably she has a background in Law Enforcement data security and administration, including developing wireless communications standards and criminal analysis reporting. She also works part-time, as a freelance technical writer and editor.