Bracing for the Internet of Things in the Enterprise
Although it’s still early days for the Internet of Things (IoT), the potential for using IP-enabled sensors and embedded technologies across the enterprise for a variety of purposes offers tremendous opportunities for streamlining and optimizing operations and to generate heightened levels of operational intelligence. Retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPGs) have the potential to track the flow and sales of goods more effectively and use insights generated from RFID chips and other tracking mechanisms to shape sales and distribution strategies. Plant floor manufacturers can receive real-time updates on conditions for equipment and act quickly before any detected aberrations result in costly downtime. Billboards in Japan are already equipped with cameras that evaluate pedestrians, assessing how they fit consumer profiles and adjust the messages that are displayed based on those evaluations. Without question, the potential impact on enterprise mobility is enormous. Advances in wireless technologies along with the continued miniaturization of chips offer all sorts of applications from tele-medicine to logistics to geo-location. However, as IoT sensors and other IP-enabled devices become increasingly integrated with enterprise mobile apps (e.g. a field service technician using a handheld device to gather and evaluate smart meter data). This also raises the concern that enterprise apps and data could become increasingly vulnerable to malware, viruses, and other security threats. The coming onslaught of data generated from Internet of Things (IoT) devices that will be integrated and used with enterprise apps leads to new mobile management concerns. Mobility management solutions embracing IoT must help IT and security administrators address these issues by ensuring mobile app and data security. Proprietary mobile apps and data will need to be shielded from new potential security threats from IoT devices and network connections, and app wrapping is a likely solution to isolate individual enterprise apps from -- or on -- IoT devices. This article originally appeared on WIRED Innovation Insights on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.