Historically, technology adoption has started in the workplace. Computing, unified communications, mobile devices, etc. all got the start in the corporate world and then made their way into the consumer space. In addition, when looking at age demographics, the early adopters of technology are typically twenty somethings.
IoT Adoption Has No Age Barrier
With IoT (Internet of Things), adoption has no age barrier and consumer adoption is eclipsing corporate adoption (at least in 2016).
Just take a look at the current applications: fitness trackers, medical equipment, baby monitors, thermostats, coffee machines…and the list goes on. So, the natural question is, do IT managers need to worry about the IT of IoT in the corporate network?
First, let's make a list of the types of IoT devices that can connect to a corporate network.
- HVAC systems and devices (thermostats, lighting, humidity sensors, etc.)
- Building security devices (cameras, keyless entry, finger print scanners, facial recognition devices)
- Standby power generators
- Automatic Coffee Machines
- Manufacturing equipment
- Medical equipment in hospitals (e.g. pill dispensers, vital signs readers)
- Fitness equipment
- Corporate café equipment (everything in the kitchen!)
What the IT of IoT Means for Network Managers
Network managers are responsible for making sure that their corporate networks keep running smoothly despite the number or types of devices on the network. Individually, these devices don’t generate a lot of data. In fact, the data generated by an individual IoT device pales in comparison to what BYOD devices generate.
However, when taken as a whole, especially when counting the number of devices that can be present, they can generate enough data to get attention of a network administrator. In fact, network managers would want to make sure that the business applications on their network are not affected by the additional volume of IoT devices on their network. So, ideally, they will need a way to prioritize the traffic on the network on an app by app basis.
So, back to our question...do IT managers need to worry with all these new devices appearing on their networks? Of course!
I invite you to check back and read the next post in my multi-part blog series on IoT, where I will focus on corporate applications of IoT and describe how they may impact IT.