Preparing for the IoT

14 May 2015

The Internet of Things is already beginning to gain traction across a wealth of industries and regions, and companies must begin to prepare for this trend as it is sure to challenge IT departments significantly. As has been the case with many of the more prominent movements in corporate computing throughout the past several years, the IoT will be demanding on both the systems in place that run IT, as well as the employees who are tasked with maintaining the assets and handling service delivery. 

In many ways, it will take a major overhaul of current policies and strategies to really get the company ready for the advent of the IoT, but this can be done in a more proactive fashion to ensure the highest possible returns right from the start. Chances are the average IT employee has still not gotten much experience with the IoT, nor the types of software, technical demands and other aspects of the trend, but they will need to be ready when the time comes. 

Investing in more advanced technical training throughout the IT department can have a major, positive impact on the results companies will see from the deployment of new tools, services and strategies. With respect to the IoT, there will be several types of skills that need to be developed to prepare, including those related to software development, data center management, cloud courses and big data training. 

Data centers key
International Data Corporation recently released a statement regarding the ways in which the IoT will compound challenges in the data center for many companies, as the volume and diversity of devices will certainly be demanding on backend systems. When IT personnel are prepared with the right types of modern data center management training, though, they will be more likely to handle these new requirements and challenges in stride. 

According to the firm, the IoT will represent much larger portions of data center workload demand as the years progress and more businesses begin to embrace the novel gadgets involved. The prediction as it stand is for 750 percent growth in the rate of data center workloads that are taken up by the IoT, and companies will need to prepare accordingly to minimize disruptions and maximize the positive advantages the trend should yield. 

"Equal, or even greater, investments in the IoT platform services residing in the data center will be instrumental in delivering the IoT promise of anytime, anywhere, anyhow connectivity and context," Rick Villars, IDC VP for Datacenter and Cloud, explained. "Given the number of devices connected and the amount of data generated, businesses must focus on their IoT service platform requirements at the level of the data center itself, not just the individual servers or storage devices."

This will be far from the only new and accelerating demand that the IT department will likely face when the IoT becomes a highly used framework in the business. 

Other helpful skills
Analysts have affirmed that one of the other most important components of embracing the IoT will be related to big data, as advantageous aspects of the trend deal directly with the information generated by devices. A combination of strong software skills to develop the right tools for information management and storage, as well as big data courses to understand the basics of deriving value from the insights acquired might help firms take the IoT to the next level. 

Without the necessary preparations, though, many businesses will likely see the IoT as a disruptive and challenging movement, and as such will struggle to capitalize over time. 

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