This week at Gartner, the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the top 10 things to watch in 2016. Everything is digital – it’s the digital megatrend. Software makes it easy to build things, change things, and connect things. And this of course, leads to better customer experience, one the most neglected areas in past business plans, and an important focus for companies who want to grow in the coming year. Connecting things is part of the new customer experience.
Example: When it comes to home security, controlling your HVAC, or even turning on your oven to get the dinner started, you want to do it with your phone. We are coming to expect this…
Things in cars that used to be mechanical, like the gas peddle, are now digital – in many of the cars being built today, the peddle is actually controlling a software switch to tell the engine to speed up. In the hospital, drugs that used to be injected into IV systems, are now dispensed with software. It’s all connected. In theory its more accurate and easier to update and modify.
The problem is, security in this new world has to change.
You’ve seen the car video – the one where the hacker breaks into a car his friend is driving to demonstrate that, not only can he access the car, he can completely take control of it. This is the case with much of the critical infrastructure around us including dams, sewage systems, elevators, and the future drone mail delivery system Amazon keeps talking about.
As Gartner speaker Christian Byrnes pointed out this week, lives are at risk as we move this direction. The IoT is going to happen, but how will companies secure it? This is exactly how Target was hacked, through the HVAC system.
Today I will be addressing business leaders in Richmond Virginia, at a special luncheon held at the Jepson Alumni Center. Thanks to Sklar Technology Partners and their technology sponsors for making this important session available. Small businesses in our country are under attack, and many of them don’t know it. Their technology vendors will encourage them to move to the cloud, connect to their customers, and leverage all kinds of technology (such as IoT) to create a more connected business. All of this will help them grow if they do it right. But without the proper security in place, it may lead to disaster. And as Byrnes pointed out in his session this week, “When people start dying, it can’t be good for business.”
© 2015, David Stelzl