There will be 20 billion IoT devices by 2020, according to Gartner.
IoT devices are physical objects embedded with sensors that can connect to an IT network and communicate with other devices and software applications such as mobile phone apps, desktops, printers, and other office/home appliances.
Imagine your surveillance cameras, air conditioners, coffee machines, and office equipment having sensors and actuators to monitor, communicate, and control their own actions. Pretty cool, right? Maybe … maybe not.
Too many businesses have old desktops stuffed into closets, decommissioned servers sitting in a warehouse, or useless CRT monitors taking up space in a storage locker across town. As technology evolves faster and faster, companies pile up ever-increasing piles of obsolete IT assets.
In recent years, cloud storage and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that store data off site have rendered many onsite storage devices bulky and unnecessary. Desktops have been replaced by laptops and tablets. Even the utilitarian flash drive has been usurped by cloud-based solutions such as Dropbox.
Getting rid of old computers and other IT assets involves risk to intellectual property, regulatory compliance, and the environment. Small businesses must create a process that ensures IT assets are dispositioned in a manner that maximizes data security while minimizing environmental impact.
So how do I get rid of all these old computers?
One option is to hire an IT asset disposition (ITAD) vendor. These companies take end-of-life IT assets, securely delete any stored data, and dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner. While this might seem like an easy choice, you must choose a reputable company and consider a range of factors including transportation and data destruction practices. We’ll come back to ITAD options later in the piece.
Did you know? An average company uses nearly 1,000 cloud applications.
Often, employees sign up for these apps themselves as a way to do their jobs more efficiently, without the knowledge or authorization of the IT team.
This practice is likely to be more prevalent in smaller firms that do not have dedicated IT teams.
While consumer internet of things (IoT) devices such as smart thermostats and fitness trackers have garnered much of the media’s attention, the internet of things has been quietly optimizing business operations around the world. In fact, according to a recent GSMA study, the number of internet of things endpoints used for business operations will surpass the consumer market by 2025.
Business IoT has shown promising results: A recent Gartner survey found that 80 percent of companies that have implemented IoT technology feel that their return on investment has been better than expected (report available to clients).
Gini was excited to start her new role as sales executive at a small yet growing IT startup. She was thrilled when one of her sales leads responded positively and accepted her invite for a face-to-face meeting.
She posted on her social media page:
“So glad to get a lead moving up the pipeline. Hope to convert Fraser & Co in Monday’s meeting!”
Do you think Gini closed the deal?
Nope. In fact, she lost her job.
Gini had shared confidential client and sales information on a public domain. Friends and competitors browsing her posts pounced on the lead and closed the deal for themselves before she could. The IT firm fired Gini for violating its data privacy rules and ruining a good sales opportunity.