Let’s Talk IoT30 Nov, 2015 By: Eric Stavola, MSCIS,MCSE,MCSA,N+,CDIA+
When working in the IT industry, you’ll get many challenges thrown at you. One of the biggest is staying relevant on trends and new emerging technologies that will impact clients, people and businesses. So I spend a great deal of my time on acquiring information, education and looking into facts and data that will hopefully give me added insight into what our technology future holds. One trend that I see is the number of connected devices increasing. Market forecasts indicate that by 2020, the number of connected devices globally will almost triple. A main reason for this is the growing popularity and acceptance for the Internet of Things (IoT). Cisco estimates the IoT will consist of 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020.
What is IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to networks of objects that communicate with other objects and with computers through the Internet. The “Things” may include virtually any object for which remote communication, data collection, or control might be useful, such as vehicles, appliances, medical devices, electric grids, transportation infrastructure, manufacturing equipment, or building systems.
Why the Hype around IoT ?
The IoT is not separate from the Internet, but rather, a potentially huge extension and expansion of it. The IoT is equipping any device with the potential to be connected to the Internet and other devices. Many see this as the next major evolution in the IT industry. Many observers predict that the growth of the IoT will bring positive benefits through enhanced integration, efficiency, and productivity across many sectors of the U.S. and global economies.
In essence, anything can now be connected to the internet as long as it has two key items:
1. Unique Identifier
2. Internet connectivity
With more smart devices and physical objects connected, it is easy to start to see the huge impact and potential value that IoT can add to our daily personal and business lives. Some potential benefits could be:
· By having so many potential connected devices and people, the I0T will fundamentally transform the way people and things interact with each other.
· Walk into a room and lights or temperature thermostat will automatically get set.
· No more punching into work time sheets, a smart device knows where you are and at what time.
· What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more?
· The convergence of data sources on shared networks improves strategic planning, promotes better coordination between agencies, businesses and schools.
· IOT brings about tangible business benefits from improved management and tracking of assets and products, and new business models and cost savings achieved through the optimization of equipment and resource usage.
What will help shape IoT
There has been several technology trends that will or have already helped shape IOT. Here are a few identified trends:
1. Advances in RFID technologies - one of the first industrial realizations of IOT is in the use of RFID technology to track and monitor goods in the logistics and supply chain sector.
2. Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) – We are running out of Ip4 addressing...IP6 has emerged . With IPv6, there are approximately 3.4×1038 (340 trillion trillion trillion) unique IPv6 addresses, allowing the Internet to continue to grow and innovate.
3. Adoption of cloud technologies – With the advancements and acceptance of cloud technologies companies have more and more needs to be flexible, mobile, and collect real time data.
What concerns are related to IoT?
· Privacy Concerns: The potential to collect personal data because most devices are communicating without any security layer (encryption).
· Insufficient Authentication: Many users have or will configure their devices with no or weak passwords.
· Insecure Software: Poor methods for updating the software used by IoT objects in response to security and other needs.
· Standards: The lack of consensus standards for the IoT, especially with respect to connectivity.
· Government Role: Including investment, regulation of applications, access to wireless communications, and the impact of federal rules regarding “net neutrality.
The IoT is only going to become more and more prevalent as we learn how it will truly impact both our personal and professional lives. I am sure we will see new opportunities in security and management as it relates to I0T. Learning without change is not learning, and as we change and adapt to the benefits of IoT it will be exciting to see to what degree it will influence our lives and the way we work.
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