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Category: RFID, Automated Data Collection, and Internet of Things

RFID, AIDC and IoT News: Key Issues in Deploying Internet of Things Technology


Security, Integration and Value Assessment are Top Concerns, Gartner Says


Feb. 29, 2016
SCDigest Editorial Staff

The Internet of Things - or the Internet of Everything, as some call it - is obviously much in the news these days, as the hype machine powers on.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

We may be near the top of the IoT hype cycle, but underneath the hype IoT is bringing real value..

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But there is real activity going on, especially for monitoring of hard assets and production equipment, and that activity is in the process of jumping to many other areas, especially customer-facing applications.

As that development continues, the analysts at Gartner have recently written about a number of key issues companies must think about in designing and deploying IoT systems internally or externally.

The top issue, Gartner says, is around security.

"Physical architecture for maximum performance and security are key to a successful IoT deployment," Gartner says, noting that ensuring IoT device authentication is crucial. In other words, how do you know this thing that is sending information is really what you think it is.

"A lack of authentication standards for most devices has led to highly customized authentication methods in the industry," Gartner notes.

Of course, there have been all kinds of warning on the press, such as concerns that hackers could easily gain entry into new "smart houses," or take control of car or even a Boeing airplane.

"Security remains a top inhibitor for IoT deployments across all kinds of organizations and will remain so for the foreseeable future," Gartner says. There are no easy answers here.

As always, integration is also a huge issue, and is increasingly challenging as IoT system complexity grows.

"Individual lines of business or departments have often implemented local IoT solutions for a particular purpose," Gartner notes. "These are gradually being integrated into enterprise-wide systems, with the intention of achieving greater utilization of diverse thing-originated data. The challenge of integrating several different IoT projects together into an overall solution architecture is one that will face many enterprises during the next few years"

Here clearly, business and/or supply chain managers must work closely with IT and even marketing managers to craft solutions and systems that are well planned and strategically designed, rather than develop a patchwork of IoT systems that will all have to be redone a few years later as collectively they become unmanageable.

Another big challenge is developing new business models that take advantage of IoT opportunities, Gartner says.

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"Most current uses of IoT address internal efficiency, asset utilization and cost-saving issues. However, there is a definite trend toward IoT use for monetization and revenue generation purposes," Gartner notes. "For most enterprises, these are less obvious to identify, and they require considerable thought as they may entail significant changes to business models, and they also carry significant risk. Deploying IoT with customers raises new issues, including reliability, privacy and security."

Gartner adds that often "Customer-focused use cases also represent a radical strategic initiative and must involve multiple roles in the organization."

Key, Gartner says, is clear analysis of the specific value that IoT brings to the organization - and to customers - when assessing the opportunities for business model enhancements.

"Focus on understanding the business benefits that can be realized through IoT," Gartner notes.
"A lack of this understanding is normally the main reason for no coordinated action on IoT across the organization. Look at use cases, even if these are from a different industry. They will act as a good source of ideas and information."

So there they are, the three key IoT system issues: security, data integration, and really understanding how IoT can drive value and perhaps change business models, maybe really in reverse order.

We may be near the top of the IoT hype cycle, but underneath the hype IoT is bringing real value.

Any reaction to these IoT challenges listed by Gartner? What would you add? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


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