The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem is changing the way people live, work, and even vacation. It’s also affecting the way businesses communicate with each other and the world around them. A few examples of changing business environments are: smart sensors for manufacturing, agriculture, and oil and gas; connected cars; beacons paired with mobile apps and digital signage for the smart store and smart restaurant; home devices connected to the Internet; smart cities; connected hotels and airlines; and innovative technologies that are improving healthcare.
To keep up with these exploding advancements, CEOs are preparing for the network flexibility and agility required to support the “Connected Enterprise” that is deploying more mobile workers, more applications in the cloud, more IoT devices, and with a need for more bandwidth and a fast, dependable and secure network connection. The possibilities are endless and moving at an electric rate.
C-Level Leadership Prepares for IoT
As more IoT opportunities come to light, enterprises are discovering that much is to be learned about IoT in order to fully understand how they can successfully grasp those opportunities.
To tackle the learning curve, C-level executives are making plans on how to incorporate IoT into their businesses. According to The CEO’s Guide to Securing the Internet of Things, the framework for securing IoT is:
- Assessing the risk
- Securing both information and devices
- Aligning IoT strategy and security
- Identifying legal and regulatory issues
A report in Gartner recommends the following tips when assessing risk in the digital change:
- Focus on “good risks vs. bad risks” rather than “high risks vs. low risks.”
- Focus on risk appetite and value associated with a strategic business objective – implementing IoT applications – when analyzing risk treatment options.
The emphasis is on building security from the beginning into IoT infrastructures — and it appears that CEOs are gearing up to take the digital leap. The report states that 83% of CEOs see agility becoming increasingly important compared to risk management.
The Network’s Edge is Elastic
Cloud-based platforms will be a necessity to enable the deployment and development of any IoT service. With this, the edge of the network can be utilized and connected to more resources, creating an Elastic EdgeSM, where the network expands, contracts, and stretches to meet these innovative IoT business needs, connecting things such as kiosks, digital signage, cameras and sensors, vehicles, people, and more.
One significant change from the legacy WANs of the past is the way WANs are being built and utilized. The WAN architecture is now structured in this Elastic Edge fashion where an enterprise’s specific network can grow and change to their taste. Now, enterprises can purchase a “Network-as-a-Service”, where connections can be spun up and down, when and where they are needed. This way enterprises only pay for what is used and are moving away from a traditional build-your-own, fixed locationway of setting up a network, and toward a method where an enterprise’s network can be molded and formed to their own unique elastic network requirements.
As IoT revs up, and the necessity for enterprises to pass more information between internet-connected objects over the network increases, the IoT ecosystem will depend and thrive on a reliable network connection. This is leading to a strong dependency on 4G LTE and why people are so enthusiastic to get their hands on the improved speed and latency of 5G, because in the next few years 5G will become the main connectivity technology enabling IoT.