|[June 30, 2014]
The Enterprise Is Ready for the Internet of Things-But 57% of Networks Are Not
SANTA CLARA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
Enterprises say they are prepared for the Internet of Things (IoT) and
see it as a potential opportunity. However, as it stands today, there
may not be enough network capacity to handle the demand that will
accompany an anticipated explosion in the number of connected devices.
That's according to the findings of a recent survey of 400 IT
professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom, commissioned
by Infoblox (News - Alert) Inc. (NYSE:BLOX), the network control company. The survey
was designed to gauge opportunities and challenges surrounding the IoT
and assess whether enterprise networks are ready for a surge in IoT
The survey found significant awareness of the potential impact of the
IoT, with 90% of respondents either planning or already implementing
solutions to cope with the increased demands on networking caused by IoT
projects. According to the research firm Gartner (News - Alert), "The installed base of
'things,' excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones, will grow to 26
billion units in 2020, which is almost a 30-fold increase from 0.9
billion units in 2009."1
The resources to support these deployments already appear to be on hand,
with 78% of respondents saying they have sufficient budget and 75%
sufficient staff. Despite overall trends toward flat or very low-growth
IT budgets, 89% believe they're very or quite likely to receive more
budget in the next year to respond to IoT demands, and 73% believe the
same to be true for staffing.
However, while 86% of IT professionals say they understand what will be
required of their networks for IoT deployments, and almost half (46%)
expect these deployments to become part of their organization's existing
IT network, more than half (57%) reported their current network is
already at full capacity. A similar number (54%) see network
infrastructure management as a high priority for their organizations.
"It's encouraging that the majority of IT professionals recognize the
demands the Internet of Things will make on their networks," said
Cricket Liu, chief infrastructure officer at Infoblox. "Network
administrators have struggled in recent years to stay on top of the
'bring your own device' (BYOD) trend, and the IoT will create an
increase in end point that is an order of magnitude greater. At the
same time, many networks teams will have to respond to the IoT without
significant increases in budgets or head count. Network automation will
become crucial as IT departments confront this massive growth in network
The survey also revealed that almost two thirds of respondents (63%)
believe the IoT to be a threat to network security, a concern shared by
Liu: "With so many objects and IP addresses being added, it's important
for network teams to keep track of what's on their network at any given
point, and also to bear in mind all these objects and IP addresses are
potential weak links in an organization's IT infrastructure."
However, a third of respondents (37%) believe concerns over IoT security
to be nothing more than hype.
Staying in the Loop
The Internet of Things could make it harder for IT leaders to stay in
the loop when devices are added to enterprise networks, much as the BYOD
trend has seen employees bringing personal devices to work without prior
IT department approval.
Asked if it is difficult for IT managers to control for where IoT
deployments are occurring across the business, 56% agreed. In addition,
45% agreed they do not get sufficient information from line-of-business
teams to manage those deployments. Yet 74% said their organization has
an integrated IoT deployment plan and IoT deployments can't be
authorized without involvement from IT.
"These results, while seemingly in conflict, align with what Infoblox
customers are telling us anecdotally," said Liu. "IT departments have a
seat at the table when business units-such as operations, manufacturing,
marketing, sales and customer service-want to move forward with IoT
deployments. But these business units often get deep into the buying
process before calling IT, sometimes forcing IT to scramble to provide
support for devices that lack the full set of connectivity and security
protocols found in established categories such as PCs, tablets and smart
Infoblox recommends several steps that network managers can take now to
enhance their readiness for the Internet of Things, drawn from the
survey results and talks with our customers:
Work to get IT a seat at the table early in IoT deployment planning,
before buying decisions are made.
Set network access policies for "things" that prevent inefficient use
of network resources and preserve network security.
Assess control and automation systems, to make sure the network team
isn't overwhelmed by manual tasks as IoT devices come on line.
Consider deployment of IPv6, or expansion of existing IPv6
deployments, to prevent the current global shortage of IPv4 addresses
from delaying the introduction of IoT.
The survey was carried out in May 2014 by the research firm Coleman
Parkes Research Ltd., who conducted 400 online interviews (250 in the
United States and 150 in the United Kingdom) with network managers and
executives who are involved in building, running, and managing
enterprise networks at companies with more than 1,000 employees.
Defining the IoT as "physical objects capable of communicating through
the Internet without human intervention," Coleman Parkes asked a series
of questions on current and future deployment of business-to-business
and business-to-consumer IoT applications, their potential impact on the
network, and what security issues they might present.
Infoblox (NYSE:BLOX) delivers network control solutions, the fundamental
technology that connects end users, devices, and networks. These
solutions enable approximately 7,300 enterprises and service providers
to transform, secure, and scale complex networks. Infoblox helps take
the burden of complex network control out of human hands, reduce costs,
and increase security, accuracy, and uptime. Infoblox (www.infoblox.com)
is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has operations in over
1 Gartner, "Forecast: The Internet of Things,
Worldwide, 2013," 18 November 2013.
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