The Internet of Thing’s biggest vulnerability isn’t security

There will be 20.4 billion connected devices —  or “things” — in use around the globe by 2020, more than double the 8.4 billion connected things this year, research firm Gartner, Inc. predicted in February.

Impressive numbers, no doubt, though somewhat misleading — if you assume that all the devices that need to be able to communicate with other devices indeed will be able to do so. Or as Forbes contributor Steve Pociask puts it, “The promise of the IoT is predicated on the willingness of companies who control IoT technologies — and the Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) in these technologies — to share them with the world.”

And there is the rub, for sharing and cooperating aren’t exactly innate traits in the cutthroat world of enterprise business, especially if an organization fears that sharing and cooperation will undermine them competitively. That’s one of the reasons it can take so long for technology standards to develop; everyone wants a “compromise” that will benefit them.

Cooperating for the common good

Yet cooperation is essential if IoT’s role in critical areas such as healthcare and public safety can be fully realized. That’s why, Pociask argues, it is “essential that consumers demand fair business practices now to make sure that all the technology companies involved in creating the IoT work responsibly for the common good in the coming Internet of everything world.”

Enterprises also have a strong interest in the ability of all IoT vendors to access standards for product development. The alternative is slower development cycles, product limitations and an IoT implementation that isn’t being fully leveraged. For enterprise customers such as municipalities and healthcare providers, the stakes (public safety and health) are even higher.

“All businesses, tech and otherwise, are going to benefit from the IoT — leading to greater consumer access and choice,” Pociask concludes. “The sooner IoT technologies are widely introduced and running, the better off we all will be.”

You heard the man. Get cooperating.

RELATED LINKS

Gartner shows us a world of public cloud haves – and have-nots

An Internet of Things (IoT) primer

Connectivity is an overlooked barrier to IoT

Comments

  1. Silviu Nedea says:

    The two-prong electric plug made its appearance in the 1920’s. Almost 100 years later, and there are no less than 15 different styles of plugs and wall outlets in the world. “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” – Winston Churchill

    Like

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