3 tips for averting IoT failure

  • IoT can only accelerate decisions if device data connects to operational software and workflows.

  • IT should find ways to turn data into context that can be used to help make decisions.

  • IT should assess vulnerabilities before connecting devices to the network.

With all of the attention being paid to the Internet of Things, it’s easy to focus on the short-term aspects, like what device types (e.g., wearables, cars, tags) should be connected and what type of network technology (e.g., 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth) these devices should use. But before a CIO or CTO can say they have an IoT strategy, the technology team should answer the following questions:

1. Can your existing apps make use of IoT data?

Connecting physical items, such as sensors and video cameras, creates new types of data. It’s unlikely that your existing applications, processes, and workflows were designed with this data in mind. IoT provides the potential to accelerate decisions and create greater market responsiveness, but only if a company can connect its device data into its operational and business software.

2. What do you plan to learn from the data? 

While you can purchase big data storage and analytics solutions to store and process data, your business intelligence team has to define what insight you’re trying to glean from the data. Too often people collect mountains of data that they randomly analyze in hopes of uncovering a hidden gem. You’ll waste time and money if you take this approach. IT can’t select the right set of data and analytics tools if it doesn’t know what its looking for. A company can also spend months analyzing data without learning anything that will meaningfully impact business results. IT and Line of Business managers should be looking for ways to turn data into context that can be used to help people and machines make more relevant and valuable decisions.

3.Will IoT provide new security threats?

Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have different operating systems and require new security solutions. IoT falls into the same category. Newer IoT devices may have hardware-based security embedded into the device, making them less vulnerable to attack. However, older devices that are Internet-enabled may be subject to hacking, malware, and other yet-to-be-determined threats. Before you connect millions of new devices to your network, IT should perform a security audit to assess vulnerabilities. A company should build an IoT security plan that includes hardware encryption, physical building security, and updated network security for LANs and data in transit.

These are just a few of the areas that a company should evaluate in Internet of Things. Others include equipment longevity, the projected life of a cellular network, and if IT can perform over the air (OTA) software updates for intelligent IOT devices.

Do you have an IoT plan? Share your thoughts in comments.

Learn more about AT&T Internet of Things and Machine to Machine Solutions.


Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.


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