As part of our 2016 Predictions eBook, we mentioned that Internet of Things (IoT) devices will still lag behind traditional activations. However, most evidence indicates that while IoT has not become as important as cloud, it will still be an indispensable business tool in the near future.
Today, most know of IoT because of consumer or home automation gadgets like the Nest or Amazon’s Echo. Initially we’ll begin to see IoT implemented for purposes such as enhancing supply chains and monitoring device performance with the goal of cutting costs and reducing energy consumption.
While IoT maybe not be entirely ready for wide-scale enterprise consumption, CIOs and IT leaders need to begin to build roadmaps now. While the home is the castle, it can also be the IoT sandbox. What better way to test and play with IoT devices than for the IT leaders to run the gadgets through its paces at home? By implementing connected objects at home, IT leaders can test how devices connect to the network and enterprise apps, analyze the data transferred to and from the device and determine the security issues that could arise. Using the home as a test center will also give the IT leaders an opportunity to see which IoT tools could be beneficial to the enterprise and which ones are just toys for personal use.
In addition, being in a home environment provides secure WiFi to test devices without worrying about compromising enterprise data. It also provides the opportunity to test mobile connections and control capabilities of devices safely, so if any mistakes are made they can be easily remedied. Also, this set up will mirror how remote offices and employees will use the devices.
This practice isn’t anything new – CIOs and IT leaders have been taking home the latest mobile gadgets and devices for years. For instance, when iPads first hit the market many CIOs purchased them to see how they would work for the enterprise. We will also begin to see this happen with hybrid devices like Microsoft Surface Pros as employees look for more portable solutions. The logical progression of IoT will begin in the connected home and then permeate the connected office, until it finally becomes a key business innovator in the connected enterprise.
While most enterprises aren’t ready for IoT just yet, it’s important to begin planning now so that we have the resources and know-how for when the time comes for IoT to assume a more prominent role. Building out compete roadmaps is an important step in this process as they help lay the groundwork for not only the right timing and best practices for implementing new technology, but who it will impact as well. Looking forward at 2016 and 2017, which connected devices can you see your enterprise implementing?