IoT: How To Capitalize On The Interconnected Revolution - InformationWeek

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Sean McGrath
Sean McGrath
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IoT: How To Capitalize On The Interconnected Revolution

IoT initiatives should start with internal assets and the ability to collect and respond to data.

Dominic Schmidt-Rieche will be discussing Securing the New World of Smart, Interconnected Devices at Interop London in June. Join him to explore practical examples of IoT in the enterprise, and how organizations are balancing enablement with privacy and security

Interop London will take place 16 - 18 June at ExCeL London.

Find out more and register here.

Interop London

The Internet of Things (IoT) buzzword has been around for some time, but many businesses, especially in the small and mid-sized markets, are still unsure of what to make of it all.

We've all heard of the 'connected fridge' example, where our kitchen appliance orders milk at just the right time.

It's a cute idea and provides a straightforward illustration of machine-to-machine (m2m) technology, but it is hardly a revolution. And unless you are a fridge manufacturer or the owner of a pioneering supermarket chain, it's hard to see the business value.

To really understand how your business can harness IoT today, look at a few industries that have been using it for some time.

In logistics, for example, businesses use m2m to track the location and condition of containers and other goods in transit. Sensors can raise alerts for situations such as unauthorized access to goods or an increase in temperature.

These alerts can then be addressed by automatic procedures, removing the need for human involvement. The supply chain becomes more efficient, saving both time and money.

Start With Data And Assets

From a business perspective, it's easy to become overwhelmed when one thinks about all of the 'things' one could connect. How do these abstract devices and sensors translate into pragmatic solutions for your business?

There are two key things to consider.

The first is that the most valuable by-product of IoT is data. Data is the lifeblood of this new interconnected world and from it, you can gain insight, which can drive efficiencies and have a real impact on your business.

It's vital to adopt a standards-based approach in order to avoid data silos. Think carefully about where data silos might exist and what you can do to integrate that data.

The second is that you don't need to worry about the Internet of Everything; just start by thinking about the Internet of Your Assets.

Start with your existing assets and consider how you can connect them to each other, to employees, and to customers. Look for business processes that can be automated, or that revolve around a set of measurable conditions.

Cloud is a critical piece of the puzzle, because it can thread your individual assets together, and can grow with you as you scale out your IoT world. There are plenty of SaaS solutions that let you connect your assets and interrogate the data they produce.

Note that all IP-enabled technology is vulnerable to some extent, and the operating systems and application software that power sensors and devices are likely to have exploitable vulnerabilities.

As your connected estate grows, it is essential that you create and maintain adequate security protocols.

Expand Your IoT world

With time, you will begin to see how the pieces fit together and know where to expand the ecosystem to further benefit the business.

Whether its point-of-sale scanners on the retail floor, connected to your warehouse systems to drive inventory efficiencies; or reducing heating bills through presence-aware sensors, you will begin to discover new and exciting ways to adopt IoT. Start small, but think big.

Interop London logo (small)To hear from Dominic Schmidt-Rieche and learn more about securing the new world of smart, interconnected devices, please join us at Interop London this June. Find out more here.

Sean McGrath is a freelance IT writer, researcher, and journalist. He has written for PC Pro, the BBC, and TechWeekEurope, and has produced content for a range of private organizations. Although he holds a first class degree in investigative journalism, his dreams of being a ... View Full Bio

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