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Four reasons to involve IT in IoT

IoT endpoints have the potential to create tremendous business benefits — if they’re strategically deployed and managed. So, why are 59% of today’s enterprise IoT initiatives being planned with little to no IT involvement?

An IoT deployment that lacks IT involvement can jeopardize an organization’s entire investment. Even in a best-case scenario, the group most likely managing and operating these technologies is playing catch-up from day one — assuming everything else goes smoothly, of course.

Without IT’s involvement, it also makes identifying enterprise IoT skill or resource gaps much more challenging. If you’re thinking about deploying these connected devices, here are four reasons to include IT in your next initiative.

1. WAN issues

Unfortunately, some enterprise IoT projects are doomed from the start. They’re constructed to communicate data across WANs that use Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) links. While this works for traditional technologies, IoT’s network traffic spikes can (and usually do) overwhelm MPLS links, causing asset performance issues that lead to complaints, downtime and/or potential revenue loss.

With IT involvement, however, they can implement software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) before it’s too late. SD-WAN is a simplified, programmatic network management option that makes IoT networks smarter and more flexible — giving IT the ability to instantly create and implement new IoT policies and support options. SD-WAN also streamlines endpoint communication by automatically routing data via the least congested path available.

2. Cloud technology doesn’t cut it

For most organizations, cloud systems make IoT possible. Through these systems, centralized repositories of data can be created for any necessary business intelligence or archiving purpose. But that doesn’t mean things won’t change as IoT assets grow more advanced.

Some modern IoT devices, especially those that continuously report real-time data feedback, are already difficult to deploy. While cloud networks are convenient, they sometimes lack the latency required to communicate data back and forth between remote locations in a timely manner.

Luckily, IT involvement team can determine exactly where network computing power is weakest and establish an edge computing system that satisfies enterprise needs. Essentially, edge computing combines network power, storage and connectivity to generate a new network resource capable of collecting, communicating and analyzing data from the same spot an endpoint generates it.

3. Security getting scarier

Between 2016 and 2017, enterprise security breaches involving IoT increased by 600%. With such a dramatic increase from one year to the next, it’s no wonder why nine out of every 10 IoT developers believe security will be an issue for businesses going forward.

To some degree, the explosion in new devices is partly to blame for this trend. After all, more than 1 million new endpoints connect to the internet every day. And that means no shortage of targets for hackers looking for a way to gain IoT network and/or data access.

A combination of the two technologies discussed above, however, goes a long way toward helping IT keep these initiatives safe.

SD-WAN controls IoT system access by separating these assets from other devices, networks and systems with just a few clicks. This way, rules can be instantly applied in a way that minimizes human errors and the risk of exposing security gaps that could result. Edge computing also helps IT protect enterprise data by continuously sending feedback to a secure location — in other words, these innovations only store active blocks of information.

4. Automated attacks

In addition to increased attacks from one year to the next, malicious IoT attackers are starting to introduce automation and scripted techniques to their repertoires. For the average business, that means faster and more widespread IoT exploits than ever. Between Q1 and Q2 of 2018, these incidents skyrocketed 240% as cybercriminals use advanced technologies to rapidly map networks, find weak points, choose attack vectors and even perform penetration testing before they made a move.

Agile development principles are also being used by IoT hackers to accelerate the construction of malware and outpace modern enterprise security systems that rely on an average of 30 different products. Without IT’s involvement early on, a company’s eventual system could make it almost impossible to find these next-gen threats efficiently and effectively — much less respond to them.

By partnering with IT throughout the IoT deployment process, enterprises can strategically implement these devices to capture transformational business value. General Electric, one of the technology’s earliest corporate adopters, believes that by 2030 IoT could add up to $15 trillion to global gross domestic product growth — and the market is already doubling itself in growth year over year.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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