Is Your Company Prepared for the Internet of Things?


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Think about how much business has changed with the arrival of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets in the workplace. A quick look at the office now compared to even five years ago reveals just how much internet-connected devices have transformed the way we do business. As monumental as those changes have been, they may not even compare to what’s to come with the Internet of Things (IoT). Imagine nearly everything your employees own being connected to the internet. That goes beyond mobile devices to jewelry, clothing, shoes, almost anything you can think of. Bring your own device doesn’t even begin to cover it. Around 10 billion devices are connected to the internet today, but that number could triple with the Internet of Things before the end of the decade. With this in mind, here’s the big question to answer: is your company ready for this revolutionary change? It’s an important question you’ll need to answer before the IoT overtakes your business.

One of the first things every business leader needs to do is become familiar with the details and intricacies of the IoT. It’s one thing to know what the Internet of Things is; it’s another thing to know how large of an impact it could have on your industry. Unfortunately, business executives have been slow to learn about the IoT, even though it’s right on our doorsteps. According to a study from May 2014, 44 percent of business executives have never even heard of the IoT and 30 percent have heard of it but don’t understand what it means. Only 26 percent say they are fully familiar with the concept. The level of familiarity also depends on on the type of business the executive runs. Those in the High-Tech/IT and Telecoms industries are at the top of those who are familiar with the Internet of Things. The Healthcare and Manufacturing industries rank at the bottom. No matter what kind of company you have, find out all you can about the IoT. What you learn will help inform your decisions surrounding the technological trend.

With the rise of the Internet of Things, more devices than ever before will be connected to the internet. Predictions vary from 26 billion to as many as 30 billion units by 2020. Looking even further into the future, some are predicting 50 billion internet-connected units by the year 2050. All those devices with connection capabilities need a network to connect to. That’s why your company needs to prepare now for the sudden influx of devices with sensors and online functions. As of now, there is no real consensus on how to handle this incoming wave. Some companies plan on allowing all of those IoT devices to connect to the existing business network. Others plan on creating a completely separate network for those devices. Some are even taking the more extreme position and planning on blocking any IoT device from connecting to their business network. However you approach the issue, you need a plan before the wave hits so you have ample time to prepare the proper network security measures to protect the data on these devices. Increasing the bandwidth of the network is also a wise move.

Many companies are starting to use big data analytics, and the Internet of Things is only expected to increase the amount of data being generated. Even companies that have little to do with technology can use big data to their advantage. With all that data, however, comes the need to find a place to store it. Storage issues are a major challenge that your company will need to address if it hopes to harness the power of all that data generated by the IoT. It helps to know what type of data can prove useful to your company and what data can be tossed, thus using storage capacity more efficiently. Certain storage technologies, like flash storage and hybrid arrays, are also useful in helping companies handle the large flows of data coming in and out of their networks. Without these early storage preparations, much of the collected data may go to waste.

When it comes to the Internet of Things, the challenges are plentiful. Your company needs to prepare service management strategies, automation techniques, and even scalable platforms. As formidable as these challenges are, the benefits and advantages from the IoT are even more impressive. The IoT can help your company reach out to customers like never before, while also making your business more productive and efficient. The possibilities of how the IoT can benefit your business are nearly endless, but the key to gaining those benefits requires adequate and thoughtful preparation beforehand. If you’re prepared for the IoT, the transition will be smooth and rewarding.

Rick Delgado
Freelance Writer
I've been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I've started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet. I also occasionally write for tech companies like Dell.


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