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Jill Kremer

IoT. How the revolution is changing the enterprise workspace.

Tagging substandard food while it’s in transit, so it can be removed from the supply chain before it causes illness. Pushing buttons to restock your pantry. Pickup, packaging, and shipping without a trip to the post office. Complete all of these tasks, and more, thanks to the IoT (Internet of Things). But, is your company ready to tackle the changes caused by the IoT, which some are calling the next internet revolution?

In only the past decade, companies have changed how they manage and secure their networks because of the huge influx of mobile devices that now connect to the internet. Wi-Fi in the workplace is in greater demand than ever before—and more mobile devices mean more network traffic. So, businesses large and small have needed to make a bigger investment in both their wireless and physical networks, to allow their Wi-Fi to handle greater demands. And, controlling all of the connected devices means companies now need to assess their security measures, while trying to grasp everything they can do during this IoT revolution. Because the opportunity for cyber-based crime has never been greater, and end users often have little understanding of the risks and how to avoid, or at least lessen, them.

The cost to connect IoT devices to a wide-area network (WAN) has kept some companies from widely deploying IoT. But now, the evolution of IoT networking and devices is reducing that cost. In addition, 5G wireless technology is beginning to provide and end-to-end solution that will help enable a fully mobile and connected society.

Since enterprise networks are busier because they now support newly connected technologies, there’s an increased burden on IT management. Companies implementing IoT often don’t understand that they now must process and manage massive data sets, including embedded personal information and passwords. Without fully grasping the importance of securing and managing this data, privacy and security can be compromised and will, perhaps, keep IoT from being adopted by a majority of businesses.

And then, you might ask, where does all of this additional data get processed? In the past, IT collects data from endpoints, and then sends it to a server or data center, where it’s processed. But this doesn’t work well when the data sets are this large. According to Jaspreet Singh, CEO at Druva, “More processing will be moved out to the edge so that data can be maintained and processed locally.” At the same time, IoT-generated data also will be moved to the cloud. “Since there’s little agreement on which approach is best for processing, IoT employs a mix of edge and cloud computing, with data management and protection strategies required for both,” adds Singh.

An investment in connectivity is also key, when preparing to use more of the IoT. Connected devices use and generate data that must be backed up and managed. With data existing in endpoints, in data centers, and in the cloud, there are questions about how best to handle data processing and backup. Standards must be created and implemented but, thus far, they are not readily available.

The BYOD (bring-your-own-device) world is one of risk and reward. The benefits to mobility and productivity are the reward. But the risks need to be considered seriously and expeditiously, as the brave new world of IoT continues to rapidly expand.

Contact your ScanSource representative to learn more about the IoT, and how to safely and productively join the next internet revolution.