How the ecosystem views IIoT roll-outs and security




from How the ecosystem views IIoT roll-outs and security
by Anasia D’mello
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In his regular new column on developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, Antony Savvas explores some evolving industry viewpoints on deployment and security.

There has been, and there will continue to be a whole lot of industry discussion about how to manage the explosion (or should we say tsunami?) of devices that are forming the Internet of Things (IoT). Little wonder, because this particular explosion is barely controlled by the IT industry – so much of it is arriving ‘left field’ from other business sectors.

Previous big, impactful explosions – personal computers, networks, smartphones, the cloud, etc. – have been created and driven by Information Technology. The industry was responsible for persuading people to buy these products and responsible for building and delivering them. But in the case of IoT, and specifically the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the industry is offering as much a service as a product – and there is a whole population of devices out there just waiting to be fitted with chips and connected to the IoT.

Sell a PC or smartphone and you are selling a complete package that complies with a host of regulations and standards, but sell 5G connectivity and you may not be certain if it is for a medical device, for tracking containers, for a utility meter, a drone controller or whatever.

Managing the newcomers

So the IT industry is feeling anxious about opening wide the internet to a vast population of newcomers. Kevin Restivo, IDC’s research manager for European enterprise mobility, led a conference session at the recent NetEvents EMEA IT Spotlight in Barcelona, entitled “They’re Everywhere! Managing the Incredible Explosion of IoT and IIoT Devices”.

NetEvents Barcelona Debate

Restivo said: “IoT is one of the fastest growing markets or collection of technologies relative to the ICT (information & communications technology) spectrum. The ecosystem is really a complex mix of technologies and services… server, storage, analytics, IT services, security and a range of other technologies… essentially a wide span of the ICT spectrum.”

This diversity, he said, makes it harder to pin down the elements of spending. Up until now, about a third of it has been on IoT devices and similar amounts on software and services. But in future forecasts he expected much more spending on analytics, as business begins to extract value from its IoT and to optimise its processes.

As to drivers, he added, obviously the explosion of devices is a major factor, as is ecosystem complexity. That last point might sound more like an inhibitor, until you consider the vast array of systems and protocols offered. “That complexity is driving a lot of spending,” said Restivo. A third driver, enterprise readiness, reflects the almost limitless population of devices and systems already out there and waiting to get connected, he said.

As to the inhibitors, security fears lead. Restivo said: “A lack of coordination between operations and IT is very much an inhibitor to deployment. Close collaboration between IT and operational departments is necessary […]

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