Prepare Now to Catch the Internet of Things Wave
An extended version of this byline is available on VMware CIO Vantage.
We blinked and now we seem to be fully in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT). Just like cloud, IoT is disrupting and redefining customer experiences, product development, service delivery, and of course, business models. All of this is happening today, thanks to connected “things.” And as technology leaders, if we’re not already thinking “IoT,” it’s time we did.
As a CIO, I realize I have a big part to play in IoT. As our employees and customers continue to enjoy sophisticated and immersive consumer experiences enabled by IoT, they’ll expect their workplace (if they’re our employees) and their strategic IT vendors (if they’re our customers) to offer the same. How can we develop strategies to help us adapt to these IoT disruptions?
Here are three things we CIOs need to do today:
- Catch this IoT wave. IoT is growing at an extraordinary rate. According to IDC, currently there are 13 billion connected “things.” IDC expects that number to nearly triple to 30 billion in 2020. The IoT wave is upon us, and we need to get on top of it and not let these “things” sneak into the corporate environment without a plan.
- Make sure we have the infrastructure to support IoT. What infrastructure should be in place now in terms of platforms, people, and processes so we can surf this thing? In my case, as the CIO of a high-tech company I am thinking through the architecture needed to support IoT so that this decision is made by me—and not for me by end users or IoT vendors.
- Figure out security. IoT introduces numerous new security risks to IoT devices, their data, and the systems they’re connected to. How can we secure all of these sensors and protect the data they’re collecting? Old models of security are failing us, but IT budgets are remaining relatively flat. So it’s time to rethink security and figure out new approaches that will enable us to make the most of the myriad innovations out there on the market.
We need to think beyond basic block-and-tackle systems and reimagine a world enabled by IoT. We require more experimentation, a mindset of innovation, and a continuous delivery model. How exciting is it to be in IT at a time when things change at the blink of an eye!
What about you? How are you getting ready?
- IDC. “Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast, 2015–2020.” Carrie MacGillivray and Vernon Turner, Doc #256397, May 2015.