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The Internet of Things: What is in store for 2016?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is built on a network of cloud computing and data-gathering sensors. It is mobile, it is virtual, and it is soon to be everywhere. At an IT conference in September 2015, Marty Trevino, Organizational Architect and Senior Strategist for the National Security Agency was quoted as saying, “In a few years the average person will come into contact with more than 5,000 connected devices on a daily basis.” This astounding prediction doesn’t seem so outlandish when you examine current IoT trends.

Current and Future IoT Trends

With inventions like the all too popular FitBit, which tracks all sorts of personal daily exercise and movement data, IoT has quickly made its way into our everyday lives. Consumers can now wear connected technology, they can control their home’s heating and cooling systems from afar, and they can even receive alerts from their appliances about needed maintenance. In short, IoT has become a well-established member of the private sector. But what about the public sector?

Experts predict that IoT will become a large part of the public sector starting in 2016. Gregory Crabb, Acting Chief Information Security Officer and Digital Solutions Vice President for the United States Postal Service (USPS) was quick to point out that, “At the Postal Service, we’ve been looking at connected devices for over 20 years. Our goal is to take these connected device and make our business more efficient and effective.” The USPS is planning on deploying more than 200,000 mobile delivery devices to mail carriers in the near future. These IoT devices will help to improve the customer experience by tracking and recording a wealth of delivery information. From the best time to deliver packages to certain customers to the expected delivery time period, the USPS is looking forward to re-vamping the mail delivery industry with the help of IoT.

Other public sector agencies have announced that IoT solutions will continue to be explored in 2016. The reason behind the additional exploration can be summarized in a word, “data.” As seen with the latter USPS and FitBit examples, the amount of information that an IoT device can gather is staggering. The efficient and effective collection of relevant data could be incredibly beneficial to public sector agencies that are struggling with meeting key milestones on limited budgets. However, the large amounts of data collected does present a certain set of new challenges, such as the network size needed to handle the data to the security of information that is collected.

In 2016 look for the public and private sectors to adopt more IoT devices, while simultaneously conducting risk analysis to combat future IoT challenges. The amount of data that an organization can retrieve with IoT devices will continue to grow, which will require organizations to actively combat the aforementioned challenges, while also endeavoring to fully understand all of the new data. As the use of IoT expands in 2016, be on the lookout for new organizational policies and guidelines that are designed to reap the benefits of IoT devices and also protect the end user.

Wavestone US helps companies embrace new technology and align IT with business objectives. To learn more about our services, visit https://www.wavestone.us/capabilities/

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