The Internet of Things (IoT) is so hot right now. Every technology vendor is either talking about it or releasing products to help organisations take advantage of it. Here are three things IT professionals need to know about the latest craze in the technology industry.
Internet of things picture from Shutterstock
Essentially, IoT is the umbrella term given to the concept of everything being connected to the internet for the purpose of collecting and exchanging data. For consumers, this would include things like smart fridges, smart cars, and anything that has a chip in it that connects to the internet. For organisations, IoT can be used to collect data right across their businesses through sensors, software and network connectivity.
IoT is also changing the IT landscape. According to Todd Thibodeaux, CEO of the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), here are three things IT professionals need to know about IoT so they don't get left behind:
Be it in the consumer or business space, everybody has multiple accounts and passwords online. This can be overwhelming for users and IoT threatens to make this problem worse, It's something IT professionals will have to help end-users out with.
"IT experts should take advantage of IoT integration platforms whenever possible to simplify the end user’s experience and make the integration of devices pleasant, not overwhelming," Thibodeaux said. "While there’s a strong temptation to forge ahead without regard to how each connected device works together, successful IT professionals will consider the total connected experience, rather than isolated products or services."
Privacy and security
Security remains a top concern for consumers and businesses. As IoT matures, IT professionals will need to account for both the vulnerabilities and privacy implications of smart devices.
"Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are already common and costly, and may become much more so as the number of connected devices per person swells. As the number of IoT use cases grows, so too will the risks," Thibodeaux said. "With smart devices managing everything from biometrics to home and business security, professionals must possess the skills to identify and proactively address a diverse set of device weaknesses."
The IoT is generating a ton of data and companies are lapping it up to gain valuable insight on customers and their own businesses. But the wealth of data is only useful if you're able to analyse it properly.
"IT professionals who are able to identify trends and patterns amid the noise will be in high demand as Big Data becomes even bigger. Familiarity with non-relational database tools like Informix and MongoDB will also give a major edge to job seekers and working professionals alike," Thibodeaux said. "At the same time, analytics experts shouldn't shy away from interdisciplinary experience. Understanding what kind of customer data is valuable, and how it can be used to enhance and refine IoT devices, is just as valuable as the ability to identify behavioural patterns and consumer preferences."