The Internet of Things is a market that continues to explode. According to Cerasis, IoT is defined as “a network of dedicated physical objects that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or external environment,” with an estimated value growing to $14 trillion by 2022. In a short time, we expect a transformation from the “Internet of Things” to the “Internet of Everything.”
IoT devices span from the popular wearables we see in shopping malls to smart vehicles (such as Arrow’s SAM car) and smart cities, all the way through to AI. The 10 most popular IoT applications, determined by SauceLabs, are depicted here:
Such a dramatic shift toward IoT creates an impact in every part of a business. The increased amount of generated data, devices supplying that data and combination of users and devices accessing that data creates a new spin on old considerations for the enterprise. Each business must ask itself: “Is our infrastructure ready for the IoT onslaught?”
Big data, security and cloud come back to the forefront, with DevOps teams right alongside.
IoT and Big Data
Every IoT device uses sensors, which can generate millions of bytes of data or more. This data is related to personal information, such as healthcare statistics, as well as industry information, including supply chain, warehouse and transportation management. The big data movement that started several years ago with the rise in social media and web scale computing has become more critical as both structured and unstructured data has ballooned to sizes such as the yobibyte (10248 bytes=1YiB). As we move forward, big data analytics, frameworks and applications like Hadoop, Splunk, Cassandra and MongoDB have become more critical in day-to-day operations. Although big data started out running on bare metal servers, trends are moving toward big data applications and frameworks running on hyper-converged architecture. ZDNet offers a view of how 10 companies have used the Internet of Things and big data to improve their business practices.
IoT and Security
Security is another factor IoT brings to the forefront for the enterprise. Each device must connect into the environment and have the correct permissions to do so. Each user also needs to have the access to do their job from anywhere. As a result, we continue to increase the number of devices and mediums we use to connect and continue to communicate across a multitude of new platforms and solutions. In October 2016, there was a DDOS attack against several major social media platforms. A New York Times article stated, “Users reported sporadic problems reaching several websites, including Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Reddit, Etsy, SoundCloud and The New York Times.” According to Symantec, enterprises need to audit the devices on their networks and reevaluate their BYOD policies to ensure they are requiring end-users to perform necessary security checks, including:
- Changing default passwords on IoT devices
- Using strong encryption methods for configuring Wi-Fi on IoT devices
- Performing routine updates to IoT devices to keep firmware up to date
IoT in the Enterprise
When evaluating the use of IoT in the enterprise, we find that the core functionality of each one of these devices is different. Additionally, the data from those devices can be used to provide data to multiple systems, including BI, warehouse management and even HR. Each application is developed and honed for specific use cases. In order to gain a competitive advantage, businesses are implementing DevOps principles to ensure accurate, effective communication between developers and IT teams. This paradigm shift allows for efficiency and automation of software delivery and system changes.
The development of each of these applications is often done in the cloud, allowing burst and shrink for software developers testing new software or features. In order to accommodate these bursts, the IT teams must be sure that their infrastructure is ready. Our Arrow ECS Podcast, “Bursting to the Cloud and Other Questions,” covers many of the concerns to address with your customers, such as:
- What does an end-user need to do to have their current IT department ready to “burst” workloads?
- What does a user need to consider when determining if it makes sense to move a workload to the cloud?
- What should users know before moving core applications to the cloud?
- What is Arrow offering for agnostic and vendor-aligned solutions?
In the coming years, it will be important to consider the growing role that IoT will have in businesses and their data centers. From securing endpoint devices and managing incoming data, to developing applications based on new frameworks that can use that data, there are considerations to be made up and down the enterprise architecture stack.
Arrow sits in the middle of this technology ecosystem and can serve as a communications point among all parties. Fill out our become a partner form to get the conversation started.
This article was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.
Last modified: November 6, 2019