In this technological age, the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hottest IT trends. But what exactly is the Internet of Things… and why does it sound so intimidating?!
IoT is defined as “a global infrastructure for the information society.” Within this infrastructure, “things” – everyday objects or machines – and people are interacting through the internet anywhere, anytime. And these interactions may take place between things and things or things and people.
It may sound extremely confusing, but it’s really not. The experts at Information Transport Solutions (ITS) are here to explain the human side of IoT.
Despite popular belief, IoT isn’t human-free.
We know that technology has collected data for decades. But recent innovations – such as cloud, increased bandwidth, and device-friendly APIs – have made connections and data sharing easier. These days, the technology is there, and thus, the responsibility is on businesses, companies, and owners (AKA humans) to decide how they manage the massive volumes of IoT data and use it to gain a business edge.
What is the Human Side of IoT?
Humans are the “messy” part of IoT. Using the IoT can mean that an experienced employee can go from being the expert to a novice on the learning curve. That’s because there’s so much to learn and process.
While some employees may embrace new technologies, others may not even desire to move from working with their hands to working with their head. Critical thinking, basic, and advanced analytic skills are necessary for employees to know when IoT is ‘lying’ or when to trust that the data is good and valid.
Leaders need the skills to help their workforce adjust wherever possible and hire employees with new skill sets to supplement the workforce as needed. Keep these IoT factors in mind:
Data Is a Blessing and Curse
Data (and what we do with it) is the biggest benefit of IoT . . . as well as its greatest risk. To benefit from IoT, we must carefully analyze the data that it produces. If we don’t analyze, IoT will be just another liability in the closet.
Many companies view IoT as a “shiny new object” and thus fail to make use of its data – looking at the information at a surface level as opposed to diving right in. You can’t collect data for the sake of collecting data. You must have a purpose.
Here are two questions to ask before you get started with IoT:
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- Where do I want to use IoT data to drive value in the business?
When you tackle IoT head-on with these questions, your IT team will be better prepared to formulate a solution that works for them. Processing and analyzing IoT data can position your company to change its business model. When humans work together with IoT, things that weren’t possible before become possible!
Security Must Be Forefront
When it comes to human interaction with IoT, one of the biggest goals is deciding how to keep adversaries from accessing your data or using your IoT devices for malicious purposes?
Penetration of an IoT device by malware can be disastrous, as one device likely connects to countless others in your ecosystem, and due to the automation of IoT, corrupted data can spread quickly.
In today’s highly-connected world, even a seemingly inconsequential device can have a dramatic impact on your IT security. That’s why security maintenance is forefront.
Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate security breaches within your IoT network. For example, ITS’ premium security solutions mitigate potential threats against your organization. Our suite of IT security solutions management for business, government, education, and beyond includes IT risk management (in conjunction with IoT), cybersecurity solutions, and compliance.
Steps to IoT Success
Create a Clear Strategy
Cloud and IoT have exponentially increased the need for system integration. With IoT, you multiply the need for integration as many times as there are devices. You’ll need a strategy to successfully get everything on board.
If you already have an integration strategy but didn’t factor in IoT, you’ll ignore critical data. You must factor in IoT data, along with the historical data from your systems of record. Otherwise, you’ll fail to gain critical insights, which can limit your ability to scale.
Think Different About Data
People – not machines – will process all of your IoT data.
Your company’s IT team may need to think differently to get value from your data and use it drive business results. Executives should prepare to address greater volumes of data at a much faster rate after implementing the IoT. Competitive enterprises will use such insights to augment their business models and penetrate new market segments proactively – thus using the IoT to its maximum benefit.
Connect Your Data
Look for technology that gives you a single, seamless picture of your key business entities. It should hide the underlying structure to present a cohesive view – as if a single database drives everything.
Connecting your data also reduces your risks of duplicating information. When employees input data across multiple sources, they waste time and run the risk of errors.
When you team up with the experts at ITS, there’s no need to fear the unknown aspects of your network’s infrastructure, connections, or security; and that’s because there will be no unknown. Receive end to end support, from design consulting and implementation to security and digital outreach expansion – the experts at ITS will be here to help you every step of the way!
IoT isn’t just the Internet of Things. It’s the Internet of Intelligent Things. IoT isn’t just the technology. It’s the human connections behind the technology. Just because a device can collect data, it doesn’t mean that the data will always be accurate. That’s why human expertise is critical when analyzing IoT data.
If you’re ready to implement IoT technology to your business and/or enterprise, but are looking for some help on the “human” side of things, contact the experts at ITS. We are always here and ready to help!