A new study from IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group finds that the IoT (Internet of Things) has become one of the biggest challenges for IT departments to manage today. With IoT solutions becoming increasingly common, says the firm, organizations must move quickly to adopt new, IoT-focused ways to collect and analyze data and automate processes and actions.
According to the company, the research indicates that one of the most common mistakes organizations make when working with an IoT vendor is waiting to include the IT team in the process until the IoT solution is ready to go live, rather than including the team from the beginning. This causes challenges with integrations, communications, and access to data.
“Most of the solutions available are designed to perform a specific function within the parameters of the devices and applications designed by vendors,” says Sandi Conrad, principal research director at Info-Tech Research Group. “As these specific use cases proliferate within an organization, the data collected can end up housed in many places, owned by each specific business unit and used only for the originally designed purpose.”
One of the primary reasons IoT management is a challenge for IT teams is that, as many devices suddenly enter the organizational environment, IT must ensure each device is inventoried, added to lifecycle management practices, and secured. The large volume of devices and lack of insight into vendor solutions makes it significantly harder to plan upgrades and contract renewals as well as guarantee that security protocols are being met.
“In order to make these dramatic shifts to using many IoT solutions,” says Conrad, “IT needs to look at creating an IoT strategy that will ensure all systems meet strategic goals and enable disparate data to be aggregated for greater insights.”
IoT solutions may be chosen by the business, but to be successful and meet their requirements, a partnership with IT will ensure better communications with the service provider and provide several other benefits, such as:
- New insights into how an organization interacts with its clients and how clients use products and services.
- A framework to quickly assess the risks and develop a communications plan.
- A collective understanding of how devices will be tracked, managed, and maintained is imperative to IT securing their systems and data.
- Quick time to value and immediate implementation of controls to meet operational and security requirements.
The company recommends that if an loT steering committee doesn’t already exist, or if the committee’s mandate will not include IoT, to consider creating such a committee to set standards and processes and to quickly evaluate solutions for feasibility and implementation. For more, see “Create and Implement an IoT Strategy.”