Just when companies thought they’ve successfully transitioned to a mobile work force, Internet of Things (IoT) devices have followed hot on the heels, tempting would be takers with unprecedented productivity and margins should they dare traverse the proverbial minefield.
As IoT stands now, there is no clear swim lane, no tested and proven path of least resistance, no clear best practice for every implementation. Too many solutions, too little standards. Most of us know the destination – a network utopia of connected devices working harmoniously. Scalable, visible, secure. Is 2018 the year we lay the concrete over the IoT foundations?
Applications Aplenty, Consolidations Coming
It’ll be hard to find an industry not headed towards an IoT future:
- Finance: Forget the cash. Contactless payments, biometrics, wearables
- Transportation: Look, no hands! Driverless vehicles for you and I
- Healthcare: Your family doctor without a pulse
Price, complexity, compatibility, scalability – there’s clearly plenty to consider for traditional businesses wanting to adopt IoT. It’s currently a jungle out there, and we’re going to start seeing consolidation as victors emerge. The bigger fishes are primed and hungry for the technology and data acquisitions will bring.
History Doesn’t Have to Repeat Itself
As we race towards building infrastructure and apps (as we did with LAN years ago), as we invest heavily into transforming into Smart Nations, we absolutely need to keep security top of mind. Just think about the number of high-profile hacks, breaches, and threats we’ve read about this year. The vast majority of them could have been prevented.
The stakes are higher than before. In 2018, data is going to be collected like never before. And increasingly personal data at that. Bank accounts, medical conditions, criminal histories, you name it. Security needs to be baked-in to every design concept and not a bolt-on at a later stage.
Goodbye Corporate Device, Hello Dynamic Policies
The company issued device is dead. Users want to use their own device to get their work done. And it shouldn’t matter whether they’re at home or in the office, users need that consistent user experience. But, with the multitude of corporate apps for dozens of different uses, admins have had to play a game of policy juggling. An exception here, an allowance there, each turn into a hole you punch in your firewall and perimeter defenses.
Dynamic policies are the happy silver bullet here. Make decisions based on the user, their profile and therefore their policy. It shouldn’t matter where or how they’re connecting.
The truth is there is no hard deadline here like the millennium bug, so the journeys we all take are bound to be different. The dynamic data centre of cloud and IoT is an exciting destination, and we’ll figure out the most optimal way there eventually. But till then, if we keep secure access in mind, our colleagues, users, stakeholders will thank us.