The survey found high awareness of the potential impact of IoT, with 90 percent of respondents either planning or already implementing solutions to cope with increased demands on networking.
The support resources appear to be on hand, with 78 percent of respondents saying they have sufficient budget and staff. And 89 percent believe they are likely to receive an increased budget in the next year to meet IoT demands, and 73 percent believe the same to be true for staffing, in spite of low-growth IT budgets.
While 86 percent of IT professionals say they understand what will be required of their networks for IoT deployments and 46 percent expect these deployments to become part of their organization’s existing IT network, 57 percent reported they are currently at full capacity, and 54 percent 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,” explained Cricket Liu, CIO at Infoblox, in a press release. “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 points 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 complexity.”
The survey also found that 63 percent respondents believe IoT to be a network security threat, 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,” he remarked.
However, 37 percent believe concerns over IoT security to be just hype. But with IoT, IT leaders could find it harder to stay in the loop when devices are added to enterprise networks.
When IT managers were asked if it is difficult to control IoT deployments, 56 percent agreed, and 45 percent agreed they lack sufficient information to manage those deployments. Seventy four percent 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 phones.”
Infoblox recommends that network managers should prepare themselves now for IoT. The company suggests getting IT a seat at the table early in IoT deployment planning and set network access policies for “things” that prevent inefficient use of network resources. Businesses should also assess control and automation systems to make sure the network team isn’t overwhelmed by manual tasks during IoT deployment, and consider deployment of IPv6 to prevent the current global shortage of IPv4 addresses.
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