By John Pepper, CEO and founder, Managed 24/7.
IT is no longer the sole guardian of technology in the business. From IP enabled turnstiles to smart manufacturing systems that continuously monitor and optimise performance and smart buildings with IP connected environmental controls, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is slowly but inexorably expanding across every business environment.
Right now, however, these deployments remain completely separate from the core business network – and IT has little or no visibility of IoE deployments. While companies are gaining operational benefits, these siloed deployments also represent significant operational risk. Security is the primary concern, but organisations are also missing out on essential business information. By failing to consolidate IoE deployments into the core network, organisations cannot enable CxOs to take advantage of a depth of real time analytics that should be informing changes to every part of the building, estate and production systems.
It is, therefore, no surprise that there is a growing CxO push to integrate IoE into the existing corporate network, not least to exploit IT's security expertise. Few CxOs even consider any difficulties arguing, quite reasonably, that there is little or no difference between an IP enabled temperature sensor and any cloud based application. However, there is one fundamental and essential difference to consider: IT systems are still managed on the basis of 99.999% (five nines) availability; IoE demands 100% availability – failure is simply not an option.
A small but growing minority of IT organisations have therefore begun to explore the value of consolidating monitoring tools to move beyond break/fix to a predictive model that delivers 100% uptime. End to end monitoring that accurately predicts trends in performance combined with self-healing technologies both prevent problems and enable organisations to achieve far more effective IT utilisation.
Given the speed with which devices are becoming Internet enabled, there is no time to delay. But organisations have some tough questions to consider. From ownership to budget, capacity planning to network audit and security, organisations need to determine where the responsibility lies for this new connected model – and, critically, ensure IT embraces the predictive approach required to deliver the 100% availability now required of these essential systems.
The role of IT is changing; today's requirement to support servers is evolving fast to one that is about managing millions of connected devices, from coffee machines to life saving NHS equipment. IT needs to step up quickly to embrace this critical, predictive model for every aspect of the corporate infrastructure.