Tag Archives: IoT

From 5G to IOT: 2019 Technology Trends to Consider for Your Business

According to a recent report on Technology, Media and Telecommunication Predictions 2019 by professional services firm Deloitte, expect a range of new technologies to drive technology and business innovation next year. As the velocity of change accelerates at an unimaginable pace, here are a short list of considerations.

5G Addresses the Need for Speed

There are more than 70 operators testing 5G technologies according to the report by Deloitte. Deloitte expects 25 or more to bring this faster smartphone connection to market. Beyond smartphones, other connectivity, including WiFi and fixed wireless access, will rely on this “faster than 4G” technology when it hits the market. Consider upgrading Smartphones, WiFi and fixed wireless access during 2019 if this service becomes available in your market.

IoT Adoption and the Need for Enhanced CyberSecurity

Cyberthreat will continue to nag business owners in 2019, with Phishing, Spearfishing, Cryptolockers and Ransomware continuing to penetrate the workplace. With your employees as the weakest link, consider training them to identify these threats to reduce your risk. What’s more, the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to connect billions of devices to the Internet. Everything from parking meters to smart controllers for lighting, water, temperature and more, will increase security risks if not properly monitored and managed.

Microsoft End of Support (EoS)

Microsoft recently announced End of Support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. This means Operating System (O/S) patches and updates will not be available upon EoS. These are critical to your cybersecurity protection plan. Consider reviewing your infrastructure to identify resources relying on these operating systems. You may need to upgrade or replace these devices. Some workloads may also be moved to the Cloud.

With so many new technologies coming to market in 2019 it is important for you to review your technology infrastructure and plan for updates as needed. Not only will you gain productivity by adopting new technologies, but you will also be able to do this in a secure manner. Contact your technology advisor today to find out how you can take advantage of emerging technologies for your business.

What’s in Your Data Center?

Most experts agree we will create more Data this year than in all prior years combined. According to research firm IDG the world will create 163 zettabytes of data a year by 2025. It is no surprise IDC forecasts worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure to reach $122.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 24.4% over 2016. What is driving this growth and what do you need to know to manage what’s in your data center?

What is Driving Data Center Growth?

While businesses are drowning in data they find themselves starved for information. Trends in mobility, social media, and customer analytics can create an exponential explosion of data in your business. Business applications, email archives, file sharing and more all drive us to hoard and store data like never before. Regulatory compliance requires many industries to archive data. Additionally, low-cost storage allows businesses to easily accumulate data on a range of devices including desktops, laptops, and on-premise services. Many companies turn to economical options including Infrastructure as a Service for Application Hosting and Failover to store and protect this data.

How can a Business Benefit from Infrastructure as a Service?

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way for businesses to use cloud computing to tap into computer resources over the Internet. The Cloud Computing model allows businesses to avoid the Capital Expense (CapEX) of investing in infrastructure. The business owner only pays (rents) the portion that is consumed. This utility computing model is adopted by most businesses today and helps alleviate some of the concerns related to managing your own data center.

How to Avoid Data Center Issues

Data security tops the list of concerns of data center managers. These concerns include physical access and Cyber threats. In addition to security, capacity management and power management are top priorities for data center managers. By turning to a utility model, such as IaaS, business owners avoid these issues and risks. As a result, data center managers benefit from the economy of scale.

Chances are your business will generate more data this year than it has since its inception. Understanding what’s in your data center is a good place to begin to understand your needs and challenges. There is no reason to go at this alone. Contact your technology advisor to find out more about how your business can manage and protect its data with confidence and ease.

The IoT Security Challenge

IoT SecurityThe internet of Things (IoT) is much-talked-about technology. Driven by low-cost sensors, ubiquitous connectivity and updates to the Internet Protocol (IP), IoT is rapidly being adopted. Research firm Gartner expects over 8 billion devices connected in 2017. Cities use IoT to relieve parking congestion by collecting data on open parking spots; farmers can measure moisture in soil; and manufacturers use this technology to track inventory in their supply chain. Because these devices may use machine-to-machine connectivity without human intervention, this can increase the IoT Security Challenge. Here are some security considerations for IoT.

IoT Network Security

IoT Network Security goes beyond traditional network security requirements for connecting PCs, Laptops, Tablets and servers together. Networks supporting IoT will need to support a wider range of devices using a wider range of protocols for connectivity. Not surprisingly, Markets and Markets forecast IoT network security as the largest segment of a market expected to grow to over $29 billion by 2022.

IoT Encryption

One of the primary business benefits of IoT is the data that can be collected and analyzed from these devices. Using IoT encryption technologies to protect this information at rest or in transit is an IoT Security Challenge for businesses adopting IoT technologies. Standard encryption technology is stretched to its limits by IoT encryption requirements. Specialized IoT encryption technologies are needed due to the wide range of devices used for IoT deployments.

IoT Security Reporting and Analytics

IoT applications are not immune to hackers and security breach attempts. Due to the volume of devices, monitoring and analyzing IoT security will become increasingly challenging. Artificial intelligence and big-data analytics are needed to meet these IoT Security Challenges.

IoT Security Challenges are specialized due to the volume of devices, range of protocols and machine-to-machine automation associated with Internet of Things. If you are considering using IoT in your business, contact your technology advisor for help with your IoT Security Challenges.

3 Technology Trends Driving Business Outcomes

Technology TrendsMany businesses turn to technology to find ways to reduce costs and overhead. Technology trends–Software as a Service, Internet of Things, Software Defined Wide Area Networking, marketing automation, and Cloud-based communications and collaboration–are top of mind with business owners who prioritize improving staff productivity and capability, and reaching new customer segments. Here are three technology trends to take advantage of to drive business outcomes.

Software as a Service

One of the more popular ways to access Cloud Computing is Software as a Service. To start reducing costs and improving employee productivity, first consider your Communications & Collaborations applications(email, chat, instant messaging, voice, audio, web and video conferencing). In addition, applications including marketing automation and call center applications are available as Cloud services to help businesses grow their top line by reaching new customers.

Software Defined Wide Area Networking

Companies are adopting Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) as an alternative to more expensive wide area networking infrastructure. SD-WAN can optimize performance of multiple providers of business-class Internet to match costly alternatives. This saves money while improving performance between your locations and ensuring consistent access to Cloud Services.

Internet of Things

Enhancements to the Internet, combined with low-cost sensors, and wireless connectivity allow businesses to connect, monitor and automate a wide range of devices. Smart metering can track consumption of energy, water and gas, provide insights into usage, and remotely control a wide range of equipment and machinery. Not only does IoT save costs, the data collected from these devices can also be used gain insights that improve business outcomes.

Many technologies are at our fingertips to help businesses maintain competitive advantage through lowering costs, increasing productivity, and driving new sources of revenue. To make the most of these significant technology trends, the pieces of the technology puzzle need to come together. Contact your Technology advisor to see how you can use these technology trends to drive business outcomes.



Internet of Things: Reality or Myth

shutterstock_249161197_small4Technology is always evolving, with new ways to benefit always on the horizon. Like Mobility and Cloud, Internet of Things (Iot) is a shift in computing that will impact many businesses and organizations within the next few years. According to research from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), IoT is expected to drive over 50 billion connected devices by  2020. Read on to explore why this new emerging area of technology is expected to grow at a dramatic pace.

Internet of Things (IoT): Why Now?

Internet of Things is driven by the ever-rising availability of computing power and storage capacity combined with the ever-lower pricing of these valuable services. Combining the availability of miniaturized low-cost sensors and chips with robust wireless network and software defined networking, the deployment of IoT is practical and affordable. What’s more, the standards for Internet Protocol v6 (IPv6) hurdle the limitation of 64-bit IP Addresses by adding 128-bit addresses to identify IP address connections. This moves the theoretical limits of connected devices from 30+ billion to over 30 trillion trillion trillion. That is a lot of connected devices compared to prior eras of computing.

Isn’t Internet of Things (IoT) Just for Consumer Devices?

We live in an age of consumerization of IT. This means innovations in technology are now derived from consumer applications and applied to business. In past eras of computing, innovations coming from government or universities’ investments trickled into consumers’ hands after passing through the business world. Many consumer-related devices and sensors are already deployed in the home. From climate control to smart TVs, our households are full of Internet of Things. CompTIA research of corporate IT and Business owners cited 6 in 10 organizations reporting some type of IoT initiative underway. Internet of Things is being adopted in a wide range of businesses for a wide range of applications.

What are the Benefits of IoT?

Respondents to the CompTIA survey cited the following top benefits of IoT: New and/or better customer experiences, better asset visibility and monitoring, cost savings and higher efficiency, new product/service revenue, new/better data for decisions, automating business processes, staff productivity gains, and automating factory / transportation /supply chains. Smart cities are using IoT to ease traffic, retailers use IoT to manage inventory, and fleet managers are using IoT to keep track of asset usage, among many other applications.

Whether you are considering a new IT project or adding onto an existing project, IoT may be an affordable addition to save money, improve customer experience, or increase customer loyalty. What’s more, you may benefit from new insights or revenue streams related to IoT technologies. Ask your trusted technology advisor how your company may benefit from Internet of Things.


Wearables are Fashionable, But Are They Secure?

Wearable technology, especially Smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, the Samsung Gear, and the Microsoft Band, are all the rage and are expected to become even more popular over the coming years. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), 2015 will see as many as 72.1 million wearables shipped. They are popular and fashionable, but do they leave your network open to potential security breaches?

 Wearables and Security Risks

Wearables represent another attack target for the cybercriminals who are currently enjoying the opportunities presented by mobile devices. Wearables have the same potential for data leakage, data loss, and industrial espionage as mobile devices.

Some security experts agree that the current wearables have a limited attack surface. Other experts believe that there is a risk of a hack and warn that the danger could increase. Future wearables will likely behave as current mobile devices, making them far more appealing than computers for cybercriminals. Like computers, wearable devices are built on familiar operating systems and have vulnerabilities. Because security and privacy are not a priority for developers, these devices are not being built with security front of mind.  Considering that some companies encourage employees to bring their own devices, security threats of wearables should be incorporated into a firm’s policies.

Bring Your Own Device Policy and Wearables

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, in which companies give employees the choice to use their own iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones for work, is a trend that business cannot avoid. A number of firms still do not have adequate policies, controls, or even the right technology. Some say a BYOD policy should include wearables because of the security threats associated with such technology.

Smartwatches are still in their infancy, and we will see them grow and change. Having a BYOD policy in place for your business will help minimize exposure to security threats. Including wearables in your plan is advised. Please contact your IT expert if you have any questions about how wearables could impact your business.