Technology is drastically changing the way we live and work and more adjustments will be apparent in the years ahead. Instead of thinking “bottom-up” or “top-down,” business and technology needs to be thought of in a hybrid solution. “From the bottom up, they are modernizing infrastructure and the architecture stack. From the top down, they are organizing, operating, and delivering technology capabilities in new ways. In tandem, these approaches can deliver more than efficiency – they offer the tools, velocity, and empowerment that will define the technology organization of the future.”1
IoT is one such tool that continues to gain traction and will have an even larger impact in 2018. It is estimated that there are currently between 8-15 billion IoT devices. That’s more than there are humans on Earth! These devices include everything from home security systems, pacemakers, voting machines, voice-activated cars, personal assistants (i.e. Alexa) and personal health trackers (i.e. FitBit), as well as toys, toothbrushes, and even pillows.2 Having these devices makes life simpler, but will truly help when the devices can “talk” to each other. Josh Siegal, a research scientist at MIT highlights the importance of interconnected devices and their usefulness: “It’s not about the car or the home, it’s about how your car can talk to your home to tell it that you’ll be arriving home early because your car talked to the roadway to avoid traffic, and now you need to put the heat on a little bit sooner than you would – while still saving energy due to having a smart thermostat. People aren’t used to thinking in such terms today.”2
These new IoT devices must also be able to function with the older technology. “Having the intelligence in the lightbulb makes it pretty easy to adopt. It’s as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. But the usefulness is diminished when my 8-year-old daughter turns off the light switch – and now my fancy internet-enabled lightbulb is offline.”2
Security is Paramount
Now, more than ever, security is a top concern for organizations. Individuals were rightfully upset about the Equifax breach, but IoT devices have the potential to leak information that’s just as valuable and sensitive. It doesn’t help matters that security of these devices seems more like an afterthought. The most vital, and yet underrated IoT applications are those that “allow administrators to automatically update them when issues are found and enforce strong defaults for things like passwords and encryption.”2 This highlights the importance of conducting due diligence and not rushing the vetting process for a shiny, new technology. Ultimately, organizations must balance the need for better production and employee satisfaction with protecting company data. They must know what and where the devices are attaching to the networks and manage accordingly.
IoT Data Analytics
As IoT expands, so too does the amount of information available to organizations. This information can and will drive business decisions. A prime example of IoT data analytics helping an organization work more efficiently and profitably is Navistar, who reduced the cost of managing its fleet of 180,000 trucks from 15 cents per mile to just 3 cents.3 Opportunities for cost savings exist in nearly every business, but it must be done judiciously; cost savings needs to be weighed against the cost of storing and sifting through the data.
2018 is poised to see technology have an even greater impact upon organizations. It helps to have a Managed Services Provider (MSP), such as Bryley Systems to help navigate the ever-changing landscape. Contact us at 844.449.8770 or by email at ITExperts@Bryley.com to learn more. We’re here for you.
2 Schuchart, Wendy. IoT for Business: Five Key Trends for 2018. Channel Partners