IT is bracing -- but not preparing -- for the Internet of things

BYOD, cloud, and other IT efforts may make IoT support easier than feared, according to a new report

Although 71 percent of IT professionals believe the so-called Internet of things will affect both users and the workplace, 59 percent said they weren't taking specific actions to prepare for it. As usual for new technology, security is a huge concern, at 86 percent. In fact, 43 percent plan to isolate new Internet-enabled things to a separate network, and only 23 percent plan to allow them onto the corporate network, all according to a survey by network management vendor SpiceWorks of 440 IT pros in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

IoT involves potentially billions of network-connected devices, tools, medical equipment, and appliances. More devices connected to the Internet means more data generation and greater demands for bandwidth and IP addresses. Thus, SpiceWorks concluded that IT is preparing for IoT more than it may realize as it addresses individual projects.

More than half of respondents reported using state-of-the-art fiber-optic networks, which will help handle the increased network load. But almost 40 percent are still using slower cable or DSL, and others are on archaic T1 or ISDN networks. IT's moves to cloud infrastructure will help manage data from new Internet-enabled devices, the report said.

Another activity that may be helping IT prepare for IoT as a side benefit is support for BYOD: Nearly 70 percent already support two or more devices per user. In fact SpiceWorks considers BYOD to be the first wave of IoT. "Up next may be temperature sensors in building thermostats or a pumped-up HD security system with streaming video and months of stored footage," according to the report.

Of the 29 percent of respondents that said they were already addressing IoT, their efforts included investment in infrastructure, security, applications, and expanded bandwidth.

This story, "IT is bracing -- but not preparing -- for the Internet of things," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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