Cisco published earlier this week the 2013 Cisco Global IT Impact Survey, exploring the relationship between IT and the business goals of the companies they support. Among other things, 42 percent of those interviewed responded that they know about the Internet of Things, “as well as I know Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.” In other words, beyond a passing knowledge of e=mc2, the relevance of the Internet of Things to IT is about as illuminated as a black hole.
Does that really matter at this point? you might ask. Isn’t the Internet of Things about Nike FuelBands and talking toasters? In fact, a lot of what we call “industrial automation” or “safety and security” is the leading edge of the Internet of Things. It’s already here today, called into the service of greater efficiency, productivity, and safety. This is “operational technology” instead of “information technology”: in other words, technology that directly monitors or controls physical objects and processes, such as assembly lines on a factory floor.
This has enormous implications for IT:
1. Security threats go from the merely cyber to the cyber-physical. Gartner summed it up nicely in the WSJ last week. And let’s not even talk about Shodan.
2. Beyond BYOD. The consumerization of personal electronic devices transformed the enterprise networking landscape. IT adapted to the new security threats posed, figured out how to associate multiple devices to a single user, etc. Now imagine “bring your own programmable logic controller.”
3. Redefining networking scalability and data management. And we thought video was a huge driver of traffic on the network. SAP and Harris Interactive recently estimated that 4 billion terabytes of data will be generated this year alone. (For some idea of the scale, take a single IoT use case — smart meters. Jack Danahy estimated 400MB of data per year. Not much, you say? Multiply that by, say, 1 million households, and you get 400 terabytes already. For a single use case. In one city.)
IT has much to offer, and should. As proprietary connectivity networks converge onto TCP/IP, IT can bring its expertise in securing IP-based networks. With experience in deploying cloud services, IT can bring in network management best practices. And with expertise in software-defined networking, IT can help re-architect networks to support immense scale, real-time requirements, analytics at the edge, and more.
From the outside-in, the Internet of Things may seem like a fast-moving train that’s zooming by too fast to board. But if you’re in IT, get on board: you’ll experience relativity and relevance.
Usually at shows like Interop Las Vegas 2013, attendees wander around the show floor looking at all the new products that are coming out from vendors. Now it is always exciting to see the latest and greatest technology coming out, but very often there is so much information to consume it is difficult to envision how these new products will solve problems that IT organizations are facing today.
Cisco is taking a different approach at Interop this year. In the Cisco booth there are a number of demo stations including the traditional new product demos, ask the experts stations, trivia games and many more, but in addition there are two unique demos the “Your NOC Your Way” Demo and the Unified Access Experience Demo that take a solution perspective to addressing top IT concerns.
1. The “Your NOC Your Way” Demo
This unique demo focuses on how Cisco solutions can aid in addressing the top concerns of network operations managers. Read More »
McAllen Independent School District (ISD) is a great example of a school district utilizing Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education. With nearly 3300 employees and over 25,000 students in 33 campuses, McAllen ISD was challenged with a slow server and an overtaxed network. The bandwidth limitations and made it extremely difficult for the school to embrace the BYOD trend, let alone creating an enriched learning environment leveraging mobile devices.
With a pervasive, scalable and reliable wireless network, the school can now provide affordable mobile devices for a 1:1 learning experience to their students.
See how, after selecting and deploying Cisco’s BYOD Solutions for K12, McAllen ISD achieved anytime access and a greatly improved, learner-centric environment. Students can now utilize mobile devices anywhere on campus with wired-network speeds and performance. Educators have enrolled into the Teacher Cadre Advocates Initiative program to discuss several innovative new methods of educating their students going forward. Learning continues well beyond the classroom and can be accessed anywhere, anytime on campus with Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education.
Sure, there are many events and conferences going on this week, but stick a reminder on your calendar to watch this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged. Ed Saipetch (@edsai) of Speaking in Tech and other fames and Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) of VMware talk about the evolution of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), VDI, EUC, and the changes brought about by new devices.
Bringing the 1970s office to you, unicorn style.
Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
Practice drawing unicorns
What have been your challenges (IT or client side) as we move into the world of mobile employment and endlessly proliferating devices and apps? Post a comment here, or join the discussion on Twitter, #EngineersUnplugged.