The Impact of the Internet of Things on IT

Comments: 0 Runtime: 4:36 Posted: January 9th, 2015

The Internet of Things revolution has had a far-reaching impact that has greatly effected three specific aspects of IT. First, security has been raised as a main concern since many network vulnerability issues have been recently exposed. In addition, the sheer quantity of data generated through IoT devices has made data transfer and storage high priorities.


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There is, I can think of at least three ways to think of impact. Number one is security. Security is one of those things that is very little thought about as we implement Internet of Things and yet we're giving, we're opening up our homes and our businesses and our livelihoods to the world with devices that, by their very nature, have very limited intelligence. Designing a network infrastructure right above them that provides that level of security is paramount.

As an example, and I'm just going to throw it out there, a few years ago, having your home automation run over your internal power network was all the rage and very few of those devices had any kind of security. All you had to do as a "black hat" was plug in your patio outlet and just run random noise, don't even have to be smart about it and your entire house security system and everything shuts down, because there was never intended to have any protection against the most basic intrusion of this sort.

This is what I'm saying in terms of being able to understand where the vulnerability of this could be, even in a simple denial of service attack scenario and then having the ability to have an obstruction layer that can take care of preventing some physical access, certain logical access, etc. by right above it. Having the access layer of the IOT being secured by an umbrella. Second thing is, the avalanche of data coming in through data center is going to be a very big issue, because you're going to have to figure out how to get it in and where to store it.

A lot of the data is of very little value, but there is a saying that quantity has a quality of it's own. In this particular case, that's exactly what the case is. All this, each individual sensor, data point, is not very important, so the third problem is the big data. How do we get value out of it? How do we monetize this data? Why would I spend a hundred thousand dollars in the hard drive to store this information if it's going to do nothing for me? I need to get the data out of it. My example with the farmer was perfect in this sense. We have a sensor every, I don't know, call it every thousand square feet.

If you look at a big farm, that could be a hundred thousand sensors and each one of them is telling me every few minutes what my acidity is and what my moisture is, etc. in the soil. Unless I have the intelligence to be able to actively take advantage of it and make changes to my business on the fly, basically data is only as good as the actions it allows us to take. If we cannot take any action, then it's useless, like great, I knew that I shouldn't have watered yesterday. That action right now does exactly nothing for me.

If I could have taken action on this right before the sprinklers came on, I just saved ten thousand dollars worth of water and probably got some credits with the EPA also. Same thing goes with service, right? Something like 65 percent of the computing power out there today is being used on or not being used while it's still being powered on. What if we can just power it off? We invest in a service, we need the extra capacity, excellent, what if we can turn them on when we need to turn them on and then turn them off when we need to turn them off?

This allows us to have the cost savings, of reducing our impact in our data centers while at the same time giving you the flexibility to meet the active demands of the business. Today we are often afraid of doing this because a change to the networks such as turning on and turning off a server is too impacting. We're not afraid to do it with virtual infrastructure, we're actually quite willing to turn off and, turn on and turn off virtual servers. I think that as we evolve, we need to become less wary about affecting our physical environment in the IT space. That is going to be sort of, I think, the next evolution on that particular piece of the front.