IoT is Coming – How can Enterprises leverage it for business success? -Part1
Aug 28, 2013
The wave that is IoT (internet of Things) is coming, but who will ride the wave? Enterprises, more specifically those in the B2B space stand to benefit the most from software, hardware or services. So, how can enterprises start looking at leveraging IoT to their best advantage? Let us explore this topic in parts.
First, we start with the infrastructure piece. What do enterprise IT organizations need to start planning for? Here are some thoughts:
Orchestration and Automation – IoT is a lot about automating our daily lives and the world that we live in. But for this, orchestration of various IoT components such as devices, services and applications themselves needs to happen. Why – because the sheer scale and pervasiveness of IoT sensors, objects, software and applications can result in management, configuration administration and operations being uphill and repetitive tasks. Hence, there is a need for automation and ability to integrate the IoT components together. With orchestration, all these automated tasks can then be combined into workflows. Planning for an automation and orchestration strategy to manage, maintain and operate IoT infrastructure, devices and applications is as critical as protecting against security attacks.(More on security to follow).
BYIoT - While the enterprise IT organizations are still ironing out BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies and management for employees, BYIoT (Bring Your IoT) is about to storm the gates. So, what is BYIoT? It could be a simple sensor brought in to work by an employee who controls it with a Smartphone or even maybe a connected car in the parking lot. What could be the repercussions of business assets - human or machine, bringing in applications, data, devices, sensors or cars? Where does IT control begin and end? For those assets that IT actually controls, can the infrastructure scale and be intelligent enough to deal with all the additional layers associated with IoT? How about optimal performance at infrastructure and application levels? IT needs to consider this and more, all while supporting day to day business operations.
Security – the advent of BYIoT brings us to a biggie – security. Be it of data, applications, infrastructure or devices. If the hacked baby monitor incident is anything to go by, get used to thinking of risks, attacks and threats being the norm rather than exception. However, controlling privacy and trust or implementing security should not affect usability. With growing IoT adoption, security is not a preserve limited to the IT organization or the enterprise infrastructure. It needs to be all encompassing and transparent, Security strategy(ies) should be a part of each and every cog of the IoT machine; be it product development, services, data collection or analysis. Every stakeholder has to be schooled to include security as part of their role and activities.
For sure, IoT will generate new business models, growth and value propositions to enterprises. To be able to capitalize on these opportunities, different organizations of the enterprise such as IT, Marketing, Sales, Finance or Support need to consider including IoT in their strategic planning and start collaborating together.
Coming soon Part2- What should enterprises be thinking of when it comes to IoT security, business processes, data and analytics.