Can IT Leaders Harness the Potential of The Internet of Things?

The IT landscape of the future is a fascinating subject, but few aspects of this innovative field are as intriguing as the Internet of Things. Promising a world of interconnected devices, appliances, vehicles and more, the IoT represents an idyllic vision seen only in the realm of science fiction. While consumers eagerly anticipate the conveniences of this fully-digitized environment, business leaders must also find a way to make the most of these advanced networks to enhance operations and get an edge in their industries. This means tailoring IT strategies to a range of new demands.

What's so scary about IoT?

While the IoT presents some daunting challenges for IT leaders in the private sector, decision-makers must find a way to realize the potential of this powerful trend. Nevertheless, Forbes recently pointed out that businesses are currently skeptical of adopting these technologies for a variety of reasons, namely cyber security. The source noted a GFI Software survey revealing that exposure to such threats has deterred a large portion of organizations from embracing IoT-related strategies.

"As IoT becomes more autonomous, potential cyber-vulnerabilities increase," said Nick Evans, vice president and general manager within the Office of the CTO at Unisys, according to the source. "The potential for sabotage increases, too."

Although organizations may be on high alert when it comes to IoT connectivity, the GFI Software report suggested that IT pros are willing to adapt - 75 percent of respondents said they were prepared to change security protocols in anticipation of new vulnerabilities. Employee device policies such as BYOD will also be a key priority in getting ahead of the game.

Bandwidth, analytics and more

Security may be top of mind for organizations keen on leveraging the IoT for a competitive edge, but decision-makers can't overlook the logistical side of device integration, InformationWeek pointed out. The source noted that companies must have a firm grasp of device management, plenty of network capacity and an infrastructure capable of handling the intense processing demands of this next-gen tech. In addition, a strong analytics strategy will be a necessity for firms that want to reap the benefits of IoT, as this visibility will be crucial in optimizing for network performance.

InformationWeek also mentioned the importance of third-party partnerships in this new environment. As of now, the IoT is a largely unexplored universe - business leaders must work together to develop alliances and successfully navigate the challenges that await them.