Internet of Things (IoT) — Is Your Business Ready?
IoT or Internet of Things is the new digital world where all things are connected. Businesses that have prepared for this new digital transformation will reap the rewards. Those who fail to prepare or align will be left behind. This articles focuses on the network and security infrastructure aspect of IoT.
So what is IoT?
IoT is a digital world where all things are connected to the Internet with the ability to stream data to a central system or amongst connected devices. Live data is exchanged amongst “things”, providing pure, detailed, and direct information channelling to a central nervous system for real time analysis. Businesses can benefit because the information exchanged and streamed to a central system can be used to obtain a real time and vivid picture of business operations, processes, and the flow of product and services — i.e. business intelligence. The data comes from sensors, mobile devices, smart phones, cameras, tracking devices, RFIDs chips, etc. Any electronic device with the ability to compute, store, receive, and send data can be part of IoT.
Those devices will be streaming information using the existing network infrastructure. Therefore if your business does not have an infrastructure that is scalable, fast, secure, available, and highly programmable, IoT may cause more harm than good. One question that CxOs should ask is: Do I have the IT infrastructure to cope with the huge amount of information that these devices will generate? As businesses starts to rely on the real time data coming from the myriads of devices, the right network infrastructure must be place to make sure that IoT data is transferred using fast, secure, and highly resilient network channels. Businesses that want to maximise their digital efficiency must be able to answer that question in order to reap the rewards of the new digital transformation landscape dominated by inter connected ‘things’ — IoT.
Current IoT trends
In a recent study of 795 large companies in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America (with average revenues of $22 billion), companies with IoT programs were able to gather ‘the ultimate truth’ about the state of their business. In other words, live insights into how their products and services are actually performing for customers and hence reaping great rewards in terms of efficiency and OPEX cost reduction. The study also revealed that 46% of those companies used IoT technologies through mobile apps that customer use on their smart phones, tablets computers, or other digital devices. 25% used IoT through digital sensors in their products that send data back to the company about the products and services performance.
How companies use IoT
Industries are using IoT to increase efficiency and productivity. For example, retailers, hotel chains, amusement park operators, movie theatres and airlines increasingly use premises monitoring. They deploy digital cameras, sensors, and other technologies to track data in the places where they do business with customers. That gives them a detailed view into the environment they’ve created for customers. Other sectors such as industrial manufacturing, high tech, and life sciences are investing heavily in IoT technologies for their supply chains. They’re gaining much deeper insights about the efficiency and effectiveness of their critical operations.
Whether your business chooses to adopt IoT now or in the future, one key attribute to your IoT implementation is to ensure that your business has a cloud or on-premises network infrastructure that is scalable, agile, secure, and highly resilient to cope with the fast changing market dynamics that IoT will bring.
About The Author
Marco Essomba is a network & security expert with more than a decade of experience in the field. Marco is CTO & CEO at AMPS, a World Class Consulting firm that enables organisations in banking, healthcare, retail, finance, insurance, and technology to design, implement, and support their digital infrastructure for the most secure and optimised delivery of Enterprise Apps. Projects and case studies available here.
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