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Internet of Things a major focus for 2014

By Donna Donnowitz
October 31, 2013

More companies and service providers are turning to the Internet of Things to think outside the box and improve their operations. From manufacturing to the mobile industry, firms are exploring new opportunities and chances to innovate that the IoT provides, while reducing their operational costs in general.

Cisco in particular is hinging its bets on the IoT, as it launches a new branch of operations to support enterprise investments into it.

"This is not about connecting alarm clocks to coffee machines," Cisco VP Guido Jouret told InformationWeek in an interview. "It's not a purely academic problem, not just statistics and correlation."

Cisco recently launched an ambulance commercial showing an intelligent vehicle connected to systems across its service area that can help improve response and care, helping save lives. However, on the business level the IoT becomes much more complex. Production networks require significant changes to be streamlined with IoT integration, and firms need to consider the serial to Ethernet demands that merging production and IT networks brings.

Exploration of IoT doesn't mean smarter technology, but better utilization of the technologies and solutions many firms have already invested in. From cloud computing to mobile devices, enterprises are already exploring new solutions to improve efficiency, the IoT just helps them integrate these strategies with parts of their operations they hadn't been able to before. This requires investments into media converters to support network demands and help connect employees to the hardware they need to monitor, control and operate.

Of course, one of the main advantages of integrating production and IT networks is process automation, and the IoT furthers these efforts. Improving network infrastructure with the proper Ethernet I/O and device server solutions will expedite these processes, helping reduce the overhead of rolling out IoT and speed up the process to gain the benefit faster.

According to FierceEnterpriseCommunications, security is often considered a problem with these implementations. However, when properly executed with the right supporting technology, the IoT can enhance security and provide more support to remote access and other areas that raise security concerns.

While not every business needs to invest in the IoT, every one should consider the advantages to doing so and see if they will provide real, measurable improvements to their operations.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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