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Adapting to IoT in the Workplace

The number of connected things, from smart cars to household items, is projected to reach 50.1 billion by the year 2020, growing at an overall CAGR of 23.1 percent. Connected device adoption is not only growing among consumers, but in the enterprise as well.

by Craig Boswell

More enterprise IT leaders are choosing to incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT) in the office, to increase efficiency and convenience.

With the growing popularity of connected devices in the workplace, enterprises are pursuing new routes for a more connected workplace. A survey of 996 business and government officials conducted by the Penton IoT institute indicated professionals are ready to learn more about IoT in the office. 71 percent of the respondents agreed they would like to learn about the value of IoT for their organization; 65 percent agreed organizations that leverage IoT will have a significant advantage; and 62 percent indicated IoT is poised for significant growth within the next three to five years.

Businesses embracing IoT means more connectivity, more convenience, and the capability of streamlining enterprise IT. Network printing is an example of such a technology, which has not only reduced printing costs but improved efficiency. Forbes cites the top five IoT benefits as cost savings from operational efficiencies, new and better streams of data to improve decision making, staff productivity gains, better visibility and monitoring of assets throughout the organization, and better customer experiences.

While IoT in the office certainly has its advantages, embracing new technology always comes with its fair share of risks and a learning curve. The Penton Institute indicates the top three challenges of implementing the IoT in an enterprise are security and privacy concerns, organizational consensus, and lack of knowledge about available solutions.

Using IoT means trusting different types of sensitive information to technology that has not been previously proven trustworthy. A substantial benefit of different connected “things” means smarter analytics and new streams of information that traditional technologies can’t accomplish. These benefits can help enterprises advance, but also present an unfamiliar data security landscape. A survey conducted by CompTIA indicated 57 percent of respondents feel they are well-equipped to manage IoT security, but the remaining 43 percent either feel ill-equipped in some areas, or mostly ill-equipped.

IoT’s introduction will open the door to opportunities for efficiency and more capable technology. Not only will the enterprises utilizing this technology need to make adjustments, but IT asset managers will also have to adapt to learn best practices in managing and disposing of various connected devices to ensure maximum value and security.

Although there are security concerns and a learning curve for new connected technologies, new connected devices bring growth opportunities for both enterprises and IT asset managers. Connected technologies have the ability to increase efficiency and streamline productivity for businesses.

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