The new year is an ideal time to reflect on what’s changed and what’s on the horizon, especially in an era where each day seems to bring new technological advancements. While this list is by no means a comprehensive collection of everything organizations will have to weather in the next year and beyond, these four trends are some of the ways IoT will impact organizations in 2020:
1. Enterprise applications move to the cloud
Many businesses are already in the process of migrating business data, applications and processes to the cloud. This change will drive every endpoint in a workplace to become a connected IoT device, with all data being stored in the cloud as well.
Some of these endpoints are easily recognized, such as desk phones and equipment in meeting rooms, while others might be unexpected, such as badge readers at the front door. A device like a badge reader has been in offices for decades, but as these types of everyday services move to the cloud, companies will be able to do more with them. For example, your badge swipe in the office could trigger a notice to your teammates where you are working.
Moving these endpoints to the cloud also means IT teams will have to change their support strategy. For example, IT teams might have to get out of the business of running servers for applications and services and into the business of providing highly robust internet connections and modern network security.
2. Enterprises crack down on endpoint security
As everything goes to the cloud and more endpoints become connected, the benefits increase; but so too do the risks. The potential impacts of putting all of your critical business functionality in the cloud is significant: With pure cloud services, internet outages can cripple important functions, privacy concerns become more difficult to address, businesses’ costs for the data center processing will be higher and every IoT device becomes a potential entry point.
IT teams must maintain a laser focus on security in order to balance the benefits of the cloud with the inherent risks of connecting everything and hosting all that data where it is potentially accessible to hackers and outside threats.
3. New regulations add a layer of complexity and confusion
California has become the first state to specifically regulate the security of connective devices with a law that went into effect January 1st, 2020. This is not only unexplored territory, but it’s also not totally clear what a connective device means and how it will be enforced. The language of the law itself is ambiguous.
Before laws such as this, manufacturers would develop devices to individual standards they found acceptable. However, what a company finds reasonable and what is required by law can now become two very different things. And the law’s method isn’t always the more secure way.
What is clear is that people are starting to think more about IoT devices and how they should be regulated, and more legislation such as the California bill is likely to be enacted in the future on both state and federal levels. However, IT teams shouldn’t wait for legislation mandating security measures. Instead, they should proactively ensure any connected device within their organization has the appropriate data protection and security measures in place.
4. More management technologies move to the cloud
New cloud-based management technologies allow organizations to simultaneously configure, deploy, monitor and manage multiple connected devices at once.
Previously with on-premises software, many organizations would install the software and then wait until it became essential to upgrade. This means they would be running outdated versions without the latest security patches or bug fixes for months or even years. Now, cloud-based management software ensures updates will be automatically added as developers release them. As a result, companies will always be running the latest versions with the most accurate security features with no effort needed on their part.
Additionally, the capabilities of the cloud, including much more advanced AI and data analytics, will allow IT support staff to become aware of issues much more quickly and enable them to solve these issues from anywhere with an internet connection.
These four trends are just some ways IT teams need to prepare for new technology in 2020. The best way IT professionals can stay ahead of the curve is to ensure they partner well with the management teams within their organization because it’s not the technology that limits us anymore, especially with how fast cloud services can move. Rather, it’s about how fast employees can manage the change to improve their productivity. Establish best practices and ideal workflows, and you’ll be ready to tackle whatever 2020 — and the future — might hold.
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