The Internet of Things: Coming to a network near you - Network World

Internet of Things

Network When people talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), the most common examples are smart cars, IP-addressable washing machines and Internet-connected nanny cams.

But IoT is coming to the enterprise as well, and IT execs should already be thinking about the ways that IoT will shake up the corporate network.

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"Products and services which were previously outside their domain will increasingly be under their jurisdiction," says Daniel Castro, senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based research and educational institute.

So, what are these devices?

Castro says that companies increasingly will be operating in “smart buildings” with advanced HVAC systems that are connected to the rest of the corporate network.

Many utility companies will be deploying Web-connected smart meters at customers’ facilities to allow for remote monitoring.

Companies are tying their physical security to their network security, so that data from security cameras and authentication readers are coming under the purview of enterprise IT.

Retailers such as WalMart, Target and Best Buy already use RFID and other tracking technologies to manage supply chain logistics, says IDC’s Michael Fauscette. IoT is a natural next step.

Then there’s “operational technology,” where enterprise assets such as manufacturing equipment, fleet trucks, rail cars, even patient monitoring equipment in hospitals, become networked devices, says Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner.