We live in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT), and it’s increasingly important for IT professionals to understand how to navigate this expansive landscape of multiple connected devices. The key is to offer network security and scalability without maxing out a company’s resources.

While 71 percent of IT pros acknowledge that IoT will affect both consumers and the workplace, their actions seem to speak louder than their words: more than half (59 percent) state they aren’t doing anything to prepare for impact. (Spiceworks)

CIOs can, and should already be, working on their preparations for the IoT.

Infrastructure is Key

With the onslaught of so much unstructured data, CIO’s need to begin making crucial preparations and changes to their infrastructure to ensure that data is well handled and organized. These changes involve everything from the provision of handheld tablets for managers and stock workers to the implementation of ID/inventory programs and network-based infrastructure management tools.

As the “Things” in a business, home or supply chain begin to populate the internet, adequate and flexible labeling is one of the first, most important steps to providing a working infrastructure. Secondarily, programming will be necessary to handle the immense amount of information from multiple sources. If you want to be a part of the IoT, it’s necessary to invest in a new kind of infrastructure that is designed for your specific needs. Of course, without the adequate infrastructure and architecture, these steps are futile.

(Image Source: ZDNet)

Know What Your Infrastructure Needs

IoT infrastructure, just like many facets of IT, is all about the system architecture and the usage of data. The thing is, this system is about to grow to an unprecedented size, and such an unwieldy amount of information needs agile software to interpret and visualize it correctly.

As CIO, your primary duty is to identify the key components of your business and speak with a programming company who can incorporate them into a usable piece of software. That software needs to be scalable, intuitive, fully secure, and should feature cloud-based storage and easily promote auto-normalization. If all of these software criteria are met, you’re in good shape.

Cloud Solutions and the IoT

Until now, cloud solutions have been something of a personal business choice. Traditional infrastructures have remained completely functional, and therefore many companies have opted to ignore cloud technology. In implementing IoT preparations, cloud solutions are no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

Your IT infrastructure needs to be able to handle large volumes of big data so that it can manage and visualize numerous identities across various devices and channels in an intuitive, actionable manner. Without a highly secure solution, the identities of your “Things” are at risk, and so is your company. A cloud-based infrastructure allows for more flexibility than traditional architecture, which is why it is preferred.

Finally, ensure that your solution can handle and aggregate complex data attributes across multiple sources, and normalize this data in an optimal, uniform format for ease of manipulation for cross-functional departments.

Key Takeaway for CIOs

As CIO, your first steps toward building a workable infrastructure for the IoT should be to expand your infrastructure and implement cloud solutions. To learn more about how identity ties into user data management, download the free white paper, Navigating the New Identity Ecosystem: 3 Hurdles Facing Modern IT Professionals.