Damian Duffy, Head of IoT at eir Business, explains the key to a great IoT network.
partner content in association with eir
IoT stands for the Internet of Things. In the simplest terms possible, it means any device with an on/off switch can be connected to the Internet – from your home heating to vending machines to CCTV cameras. It can also apply in industrial contexts – for instance the drill of an oil rig. Technology research firm Gartner predicts that there will be over 26 billion connected devices by 2020 – “a pervasive digital presence…throughout business process and operations”.
IoT is the foundation of the modern digital business. The question is not ‘if’ IoT will work for your business, but ‘how’ it will work for your business. In order to introduce IoT innovation to your business it is essential to create a planning team within your organisation that includes not only IT executives but also people from the business and operations side. Leveraging IoT may involve disrupting processes that have gone unchanged or unquestioned for a long time, and requires buy-in from across all sectors of the business.
The benefits offered by leveraging IoT innovation are too great to ignore: it facilitates new digital business models, gives competitive advantage, increases efficiency, streamlines processes, and can lead to better employee and customer engagement. It’s important to set out your strategic business objectives at the start of any IoT innovation project, and keep aligned to the use-case outcomes you need to see to deliver on those business objectives.
Damian explains some of the exciting possibilities which IoT networks allow business to develop using machine-to-machine type communication services. He explains that there are real business benefits coming from using these types of IoT devices within organisations and outlines what needs to be considered when planning an IoT network, by considering the requirements of the business.
With billions of devices connected through IoT networks, the topic of security threats is a real issue. Security needs to be built into the IoT network from the beginning, as the power and possibilities that it offers are increasing dramatically. Working with a trusted partner, who has deep experience in networks, and network security, is key for any business considering entering into the IoT space; building a secure IoT network is beyond the remit of many in-house IT leaders, whose work is mainly concerned with managing physical devices rather than virtual assets. Working with a trusted partner on IoT innovation projects is key to vault over the barriers to IoT success, which block a lot of businesses from entering the space or fully leveraging the possibilities. Gartner’s 2016 IoT Backbone Survey found that 32% of IT leaders cited security concerns as the main barrier they encountered preventing them from achieving IoT success.
Damian Duffy tells me that at eir Business, “We work with customers right through the process to make sure that the equipment they ultimately roll out to the field not only fulfils the real-world requirements but also complies with security constraints.”
Want to talk more about IoT and your business. Connect with Damian Duffy.