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Four things you should know about the future of IoT


Study highlights the failures of legacy networks & tendency to repeat the past 

In today’s digital transformation, IoT is among the most important trends. With its central promise to let companies see, measure, control, and profit from what takes place on their networks, the far-reaching possibilities of IoT have captured the attention and imaginations of decision makers from the front line to the C-suite.

As a result, IoT deployments are now perhaps the most-anticipated, but least-understood, initiatives of IT departments today, revealing a vast divide between what businesses say they believe and how they plan to act.

Cradlepoint’s new report, State of IoT 2018, highlights the viewpoints, current practices, and future plans of 400 IT pros in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The study revealed several key trends taking shape, including these four things you should know about the future of IoT:

1. Many organizations are (rightly) prioritizing network infrastructure changes over IoT implementation.

The IT pros who were surveyed ranked IoT in the middle of the pack among their top IT initiatives in the coming year. Cloud-based and hosted services, network security, and infrastructure modernization rank as the top three identified priorities, respectively.

The challenge that IoT early adopters have had to confront is the fact that yesterday’s networks were not built for today’s applications. Successful implementation of IoT technologies requires a network infrastructure engineered for the realities of the distributed and vast nature of IoT.

At the same time, those organizations that haven’t already begun to phase out legacy networks are even further behind on IoT than they may realize.

2. In an era defined by an industry-wide movement away from the “build your own” approach, IT pros prefer to use internal resources to deploy, house, and support IoT technologies.

A back-to-the future mentality has taken hold when it comes to the IoT, and many organizations are poised to repeat the mistakes of the last decade, instead of taking a cue from early cloud adopters.

In the shift to the cloud that has taken place over recent years, smaller businesses became early adopters out of necessity and in turn illuminated the benefits of a “consume, not build” approach.

After learning this lesson once, IT teams across virtually every industry — and virtually every company size — are on the brink of falling into the build-it-yourself trap again.

3. Despite security being a top concern related to IoT tech, many organizations plan to house IoT on the core, enterprise-wide network.

Digging into the answers provided by IT pros who plan to implement IoT projects using internal resources revealed a troubling fact: Nearly half of those organizations also plan to house IoT tech on the core, enterprise-wide network.

The perils of this approach were highlighted in 2016, when news of the Mirai botnet broke and the dangers of insufficient (or nonexistent) network segmentation played out on a worldwide stage.

4. The study identified a red flag that no company should ignore: an IoT confidence gap between IT leaders and IT doers.

Those in director-level and above roles are significantly more confident about every aspect of IoT implementation and management than managers and staff.

IT decision-makers driving IoT adoption should see this confidence gap as a red flag, especially if they plan to implement, house, and manage IoT systems internally. Companies whose leaders open the door to frank discussion with staff responsible for implementing and managing IoT may find that their expectations aren’t in line with staff expectations.

Get the State of IoT 2018 Report

The full State of IoT 2018 Report contains more insights into how organizations are implementing IoT and the concerns that IT pros share about the technology.

Based on the study’s findings, the report also offers resources to help IT leaders and staff have frank conversations that will allow them to close the confidence gap and evaluate whether planned IoT implementations truly align with best practices.