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IoT technology continued to mature in 2019 and with it, IT pros' interests reflected a deeper understanding of the emerging technology in their IoT strategies.
The most popular IoT Agenda blogs of 2019 reflect organizations' need for a well-researched plan to implement IoT, AI, 5G and other technologies that are still in development.
To guarantee the success of IoT projects, organizations investigated where emerging technology fit into their digital transformations and what role it will play in the bigger industry movement: the fourth industrial revolution.
IT pros did not overlook the importance of digging into the details of IoT strategies either. They sought to understand how new technology changes existing processes and opens avenues for cybersecurity threats. 2019 also marked a change in the attitude of organizations that handle personal data. Organizations not only wanted to succeed in their IoT endeavors, they wanted to meet the ethical expectations of their customers and understand their role in the bigger discussion of data privacy.
Discover what topics IT pros were most interested in learning about in 2019 to start off 2020 with the right knowledge base.
How to see the big picture during planning
Success in the fourth industrial revolution will come to organizations that plan a strategy to incorporate emerging technology. PwC's Mohamed Kande emphasizes the importance of preparing for growth and building customer trust around data use in his post The fourth Industrial Revolution is here – are you 4IR ready? Organizations can thrive if they understand business model and product innovation, promoting cross-sector knowledge -- such as collaboration between IT and operational technology (OT) teams -- and developing digital talent within a workforce.
IoT devices leave organizations vulnerable to more cyberattacks if IT pros do not properly secure them, and the risk has only increased over time. The attack surfaces created by IoT devices and connected OT have made it difficult for IT pros to secure networks and individual devices. ForeScout's Myles Bray advises organizations to build an updated security strategy that prioritizes protecting the network and monitoring all devices in a centralized cybersecurity hub in his IoT blog post Why are connected devices leaving UK businesses as vulnerable as ever in 2019?
Despite the prevalence of the digital transformation projects, less than 30% of initiatives have succeeded, according to a McKinsey report. The key to a transformation lies in unlocking its business value. For example, organizations that upgrade to a smart building can optimize energy use and improve sustainability. Organizations must also invest in their workers through training and recruiting digital talent. Johnson Controls' Sudhi Sinha discusses the future implications of a digital transformation in his post Digital transformation: So, you've transformed. Now what?
IoT changes nitty gritty details of business
Throughout 2019, IT pros repeatedly returned to the topic of IT and OT convergence as a major challenge. The two teams approach technology from different perspectives, which can put them at odds with each other. In The IT/OT divide: Why OT is from Mars and IT is from Venus, OSIsoft's Richard Beeson advises that organizations must understand the IT/OT divide because both teams can offer complementary insights that strengthen organizations.
Organizations can purchase many parts of their business as a service instead of building from scratch. Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) could be the next step for organizations that want to expand the ways they communicate through technological developments, such as IoT, 5G and virtual reality. UCaaS offerings combine IoT and UC, incorporate AI and automate UC processes to advance workforce productivity. HCL Technologies' Sukamal Banerjee discusses other factors that UCaaS providers must get right for organizations to execute UC strategies in his IoT blog post IoT and UCaaS: Changing face of corporate communication (and how to get it right).
IT pros must design any device -- whether it is actively used or not -- to protect against cyberthreats, detect malicious code and recover from attacks when they inevitably happen. One common tool that organizations can use to secure device firmware is a root of trust device. In Invest in hardware root of trust to ensure IoT security, Lattice Semiconductor's Juju Joyce describes how IT pros can build a chain of trust to support a range of security protocols.
Ethical considerations for AI and IoT
AI has become an essential part of organizations, but IT pros must understand what their AI model does to ensure that it creates ethical results. AI models must be explainable -- is the model built properly, what are its risks and when does it degrade? It would be easy for IT pros to assume that the data processed by AI leads to accurate results that they can make further assumptions off of. FICO's Scott Zoldi explains how organizations can balance speed and explainable AI to ensure important decisions are not made on imperfect data in his post 3 E's of AI: Creating explainable AI.
In Can trusted data exchanges help grow ethical AI?, Equinix's Chiaren Cushing tells how the AI market is exploding and its rapid advancement brings concerns around data ethics. IBM researchers identified more than 180 biases that influence AI models. Discover what the areas of AI ethics are and how trusted data exchanges could mitigate biases in her IoT blog post.
IoT devices have the potential to simplify many everyday tasks, but they can also make a greater difference for the population. When applied to larger issues, such as sustainability in energy, water and food sources, IoT sensors can make processes more efficient and less wasteful. Silicon Laboratories' Asem Elshimi discusses examples of how automation -- even home automation -- can serve good causes when applied to mechanisms that improve health, safety and access to energy and water in his IoT blog post Overcome water and energy challenges with IoT.