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IT managers: How to prepare your organisation for the Internet of Things

Matthew Johnston, managing director for South Asia, Dell Software | Feb. 6, 2015
Matthew Johnston, managing director for South Asia, Dell Software, shares a few pointers which IT teams can follow to prepare for a future brought by IoT.

Fine-grained management of all those endpoints typically requires separate, custom tools, which can lead to undue management overhead. That's why it's important to understand what level of information is needed most, so it can be aggregated and collapsed into knowledge that fits the specific needs of the business.

Unify Systems Management for Heightened Compliance

Companies will need to be much more diligent in paying attention to software licenses in an IoT world as finding you're out of compliance during a software audit can be extremely costly and time-consuming. To avoid drowning in a sea of IoT data while easing usage and compliance reporting, companies should look for ways to consolidate and centralize systems management reporting.

Elevate Security While Giving Users Access to the Right Things

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to security. IT managers must keep abreast of the latest security policies and devise plans for segregating parts of the network and environment to protect vital business systems without impacting workforce productivity or operational efficiency.

Mobile security will continue to rise in importance as companies strive to achieve the lowest risk exposure. As part of a best practices approach, companies need to strike the right balance between managing users and all their devices. For some organizations, secure mobile enablement will include container-based digital workspaces that separate access to corporate and personal data on BYO devices. Still others will add user-centric identity and access management for additional management flexibility and protection.

Understand Not All IoT 'Things' are Created Equal

As devices of all kinds become prevalent in our everyday lives, they become exposed to countless opportunities to be dropped, drenched or destroyed accidentally. As failure modes become more diverse and price points for devices become more attractive, companies and their employees likely will replace or upgrade smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops with greater frequency. This means it will be necessary to adjust corporate break/fix and replacement strategies accordingly. If a mobile device is covered under warranty or the system isn't mission critical, then probably it will make more sense to replace it than devote precious IT resources to troubleshooting and fixing the problem.

Preparing for IoT

The best way to prepare for IoT is to start with a review of how endpoints are currently managed. Having broad device support across Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, iOS and Android platforms is a good starting point. The ability to discern gaps in coverage is essential as printers, monitors, network routers, scanners and other connected devices play increasingly critical roles in an IoT world.

Equally important is determining the depth of device data you can attain. Are you collecting enough data to make business decisions? If you gather stats on 15 devices but don't know which versions or firmware they're running, you don't have sufficient insight. It's critical to dig deep for the right details while factoring how often you need a sanity check on endpoint health and wellbeing.

 

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