January 3, 2018

Do you know the potential and the risks of IoT?

Kevin Shaker, immixGroup

By Kevin Shaker
Senior Analyst
immixGroup, an Arrow company

We hear quite a bit about the internet of things (IoT) and its broad applications and potential for “smarter” healthcare, transportation, facilities and more. There is huge promise, as well as significant risk.

Identity access management will be crucial to the security of IoT devices, as well as to user privacy. So what exactly is under the IoT technology umbrella and how are government agencies using these tools now and in the next 12 to 18 months?

During immixGroup’s 4th annual Government IT Sales Summit, government and industry IT leaders addressed what’s under the IoT umbrella and how public sector enterprises are using these tools now.

Here are some highlights of the IoT snapshot: The potential and the risks panel:

Where in this ecosystem should our partners and suppliers spend most of their time to bring the most value to their customers?

If you look at IT versus IoT, the world of IT was clients and servers. The client was relatively smart ¬– your phones, tablets, PCs – so it balanced the IT issue between the client and the server. Now that we’re progressing into more IoT, the challenge is that the endpoint node is going to be really dumb; it’s not going to have a lot of processing power or memory. We end up with this new thing called a gateway, and that gateway is where we’ll control nodes, processing and the edge compute work, and this is the new platform from which IoT will work on.

Therefore, the best advice for a supplier trying to bring value to their customers is to focus on a vertical. The application software and the gateways you use will vary tremendously from vertical to vertical, so you’ll want to layer into a platform where you’re going to control everything.

A lot of government agencies aren’t ready to talk IoT. How does the State Department talk about IoT internally and what kind of buzz words should industry be looking out for to identify an opportunity?

The way the State Department is often approached is, “Hey, we have something that’s going to be good for the department, but it needs to be connected to the internet for us to take advantage of it…” and that’s when people start to panic over the security part.

To engage on a solution, it would be best if a business approaches it by saying, “Hey, we have not just the IoT device, but also the security wrapper and a plan for how you would apply that to your network.” That’s a better way to ease into the idea of an IoT solution.

This post originally appeared on immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog. To read the rest of it, click here. And to hear more about the future of IoT and how government will use those solutions, listen to the session here.