The Internet of Things is poised to revolutionize the way the world works. From logistics to marketing to consumer technology, it's hard to escape the influence of massive networks comprised of smart devices.
Unfortunately, the current form of enterprise IT doesn't jive with the IoT. Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, asserted that today's organizations lack the technologies and skills required to "master" the IoT, and due to the immaturity of this market, there will be "significant challenges" that those companies must overcome if they hope to harness the power of this technological trend.
But what should businesses be prepared for? How can they clear IoT hurdles? Let's take a look at the impact that the IoT will have on enterprise IT.
Harvard Business Review contributor Bala Iyer explained that infrastructure must come first in an IoT-enabled world. In the past, that meant focusing on operating systems and building applications for them. With the IoT, Iyer argued that the underlying infrastructure must be "low-power" and have an emphasis on connectivity. After all, IoT devices are smaller, yet still require large amounts of bandwidth to function.
Compounding infrastructure problems even more is that all IoT devices are not the same. Organizations must focus on the "things" and how to best connect and utilize them in harmony.
"Creating solid infrastructure built for the IoT should be a No. 1 priority in 2016."
Therefore, creating solid infrastructure – comprised of devices, software and cloud services – built for the IoT should be a No. 1 priority in 2016. If organizations lag in that regard, they could fail to deploy IoT networks in a timely manner.
The IoT will require businesses to take another look at their IT departments and the professionals that comprise it. This technological trend will influence the types of skills that IT employees possess, and as such, IT hiring could be in for some changes.
Furthermore, Gartner stressed the importance of having strong wide-area networks. This could result in hiring spikes in the networking space, as organizations strive to deploy networks that are strong, reliable, resilient and secure.
Given the critical nature of IT security today, it should come as no surprise that securing the IoT will be one of the most important aspects of leveraging them. Gartner explained that the devices themselves are vulnerable attack points, as are the networks they communicate across. Unfortunately, securing the IoT requires new skills – Gartner said that "things" simply will be unable to support traditional security technologies.
Organizations will highly prize security professionals with expertise in endpoint security as well as encryption. Businesses will also need to procure IT security solutions that extend across "fragmented" devices and systems, making software-defined security all the more interesting.
The IoT brings innovation, but it requires a different way of thinking about IT if companies want to succeed with their deployments.