Organization strategy

Prepare your organization for these 3 IoT challenges

With a whopping 14.4 billion devices, there are nearly two IoT devices for every person on Earth. The growth has been phenomenal – from less than a billion in 2010 to forecasts of 24 billion IoT devices all woven into the fabric of our civilization by 2050. These little machines that quietly collect, monitor and process data will soon outnumber people to an even greater degree than they already do.

We already know that many possibilities lie within these networks of IoT devices, where objects that many of us take for granted on a daily basis are transformed into data points. Smart cities make life safer and more convenient for citizens, improving areas such as infrastructure management – ​​from traffic to flooding and early warning weather systems. Beyond specific use cases, smart grids have potential across industries, with use cases in mining and metals, aviation, healthcare, agriculture, and logistics. All of these applications can reap the benefits of IoT system evolution.

Global 5G connectivity is essential, as it can provide the high-powered bandwidth to make these vast networks of devices even more capable. With faster and more comprehensive connectivity, IoT technologies will benefit from improved reliability and security, while devices onboarding and integration should become easier and faster.

But all of these benefits pose new challenges around complexity. While 5G should be seen as an enabler, the technology and engineering sectors must respond to the large-scale connectivity power of 5G in a thoughtful and strategic way to realize its full potential, while maximizing value and security.

The challenges ahead

Industries will need to overcome three main hurdles of complexity to take advantage of a 5G-connected IoT world: management, health and safety, and compatibility. As use cases become more advanced, efficient, and immersive in this next era of IoT, these issues will only become more pressing.

The first is management. As technological capabilities expand, management challenges also increase. It is up to the industry, including vendors, device manufacturers, infrastructure providers and network operators, to ensure that new 5G-powered devices work well with wired and wireless Ethernet networks. thread. To manage this converging tangle of connectivity, enterprises must have unified views of their networks that serve as the foundation for informed operations.

Like the world of developers, cloud and edge computing platforms are the natural way to simplify this integration. Great strides have been made in orchestration platforms for managing and maintaining IoT networks, especially with advanced features that automate device and application management. The key for businesses will be implementing these advanced features into their IoT integration.

Second, health and safety. As these IoT devices proliferate exponentially across our planet, each of these machines will require ongoing monitoring for functionality, health and safety; there is little point in generating or processing IoT data if it turns out to be inaccurate.

It is therefore essential that companies can ensure that only the right IoT devices are on their networks. As the number of devices increases, this will become an increasingly complex task. In the early days of IoT networks, botnets hacked into devices like IP cameras and home routers. It illustrates the immense danger of unprotected or password-protected connected devices by default. Meanwhile, other risks continue to exist. Consider that some search engines show all open devices on the internet, including the ports they have open.

It only takes a single weak point to compromise these systems, making continuous monitoring and an intelligent approach to access management more crucial to maintaining the security of corporate networks. Automation is needed to manage devices at this scale.

Fortunately, software suites designed to identify and act on failures or predict system problems before they go offline are already available. In the future, cognitive operations systems will take advantage of data models that summarize device functionality and health so they can identify and fix issues immediately.

The third challenge is compatibility. Organizations will need to deploy IoT devices and networks with the certainty that they are future-proof. For example, imagine a safety device that relies on monitoring factory machinery for potential failures. If the specifications of the machinery change, it must be possible to configure the device to recognize this new change, otherwise the functionality of the device will be rendered useless. This invites business risk by introducing obsolescence into the networks and forces the organization to undertake costly modernization exercises.

Continuous improvement

To address these compatibility issues, organizations need to keep their maintenance up to date and ensure they have the capabilities to operate at scale. Organizations that decide to begin this integration should consider using automated continuous integration and continuous development systems that can test the interoperability of devices on an ongoing basis and verify that they are running a system built with up-to-date firmware.

System integrators play a vital role in ensuring that devices stay up to date. Since multiple stakeholders often use IoT networks, system integrators must also drive standardization and interoperability. The key to achieving this is open source software so that no organization is locked in or left out.

Getting ahead of these considerations today will allow IoT businesses to thrive tomorrow and take advantage of a connected world and the possibilities that come with it, without fear of compromise.

About the Author
Ben Pietrabella is EVP, Managing Director of Communications and Media, Americas at Capgemini Engineering. Prior to her current role, Pietrabella led Altran’s Advanced Network and IoT global service line. He is a global technology leader with over 30 years of experience delivering complex enterprise applications and telecommunications products. He has considerable knowledge and experience in enterprise architecture, product management, product development and integration services for multi-vertical enterprise application products, as well as telecommunications software products. operator class.