I received an email from my father recently, asking me “Technology’s Next Big Thing”. He asked me what I thought about the Internet of Things, and included an article for me to read.
For those not familiar, the Internet of Things is the idea of more and more devices becoming connected to the internet, using the network as a communications path to each other and to services. With the proliferation of devices, the internet has already moved from the majority being people to the majority being devices. In fact, IPv6 is intentionally designed to dramatically multiply the number of IP addresses on the internet, partly because of the expectation of how many devices there will be. It’s a massive trend, and one I’ve been tracking for a while now.
Dad thought that he wouldn’t be alive to see it all. While certainly not a teenager, my Dad isn’t so old that he needs to worry. In fact, the Internet of Things has already begun and is here, rather than something to expect in the future. Smart devices are more and more commonplace. With Google’s recent acquisition of Nest, there is clear evidence that smart devices are already here, and moving beyond niche plays to becoming mainstream. Nest shows how companies are looking at intelligent devices as the future, and players like Google are expected to drive that market even faster.
Consumer technologies are becoming increasingly a gauge for business ones, as the consumerization of IT changes the way business and individuals think about IT. This continues to play in the services market, as there continues to be the need to manage all these devices. Beyond simple installation, these devices require management. While this seems far fetched, it was just announced that a number of home appliances – including at least one fridge – was recently used to become a botnet, sending spam around the internet.
New yet entirely familiar challenges await for MSPs in the world of the Internet of Things. Just as mobile device management is an extension of the core of a solution providers business, so too will managing the waves of smart devices to come. Solution providers who embrace the idea of user experience management, where they focus on ensuring that users have consistent access to their data across all devices, will be well prepared to manage this more complicated world. This complexity also shows the need for solution providers, as integration will become a primary focus.
As soon as someone cleans the virus off the fridge.