The Internet of Things (IoT) is a relatively new area of technology, although it’s use and the network that supports it are growing rapidly, and companies are increasingly looking to benefit from this.
Having said that there can often be a challenge around accommodating advanced connected technology, especially around key elements of network and infrastructure.
Despite this, enterprises are pushing forward. According to a report published this week, companies of all shapes and sizes are replacing current networks to accommodate IoT.
Improving an IoT network
These companies want to reap the rewards of increased work mobility, big data and software-oriented network strategies, all of which stem from IoT adoption.
The 2016 Network Barometer Report, which is released by analytics company Dimension Data annually, investigated the data of 300,000 client network service incidents.
Companies can easily run into issues when it comes to using ageing networks, the report found. They’re just not up to the task of supporting areas such as software-defined networking and automation.
Older networks can also struggle to handle high data volumes and often end up crashing, which can cost time and money for companies. That’s why they’re looking to update sooner rather than later.
Spotting the potential
There were various other key findings in the 2016 report. The number of companies using 1Pv6 devices has risen by 41 percent this year, compared to 21 percent in 2016.
This means companies can implement better digital strategies, particularly important areas such as big data and analytics. Firms have spotted the potential and are clearly running with it.
European companies have also been battling it out with complex network vulnerabilities. The report claims that this year alone, there’s been an 82 percent rise in network-based incidents, up from 51 percent in 2015.
Firms are actively showing an interest in software-defined networks too, but it’s still seen as a new area and consists of early adopters. Last year, only 0.4 percent of devices could actually work with SDNS.
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Because companies are making the most of the latest network technology, they’re benefitting from improved incident and repair time rates. The networks are 69 percent and 32 percent faster in these respects.
While it’s easy to put all the blame on technology, the report also identified that human error plays a role in incidents. 37 percent of them are caused by individuals, and there’s a need for better management and automation.
Andre van Schalkwyk, senior practice manager network consulting, Dimension Data said older networks are quickly becoming obsolete while companies push to update their infrastructure.
“Since 2010, networks had been aging. This year’s Report reverses that trend, and for the first time in five years, we’re seeing networks age more slowly,” he said in a statement.
“Aging networks are not necessarily a bad thing: companies just need to understand the implications. They require a different support construct, with gradually increasing support costs. On the other hand, this also means that organisations can delay refresh costs.”
Networks of the future
Ultan Kelly, senior product line director at Cobham Wireless, believes that NB-IoT has the potential to help companies enable more advanced connected tech networks. He said it’s important that firms actively look for threats to combat incidents.
“NB-IoT has been touted as the latest standard for connecting IoT devices. This new low-power, low-cost technology could improve spectrum efficiency and battery life for IoT devices,” he told Internet of Business.
“However, operators must be aware that the new radio technology will be just as vulnerable to cyber-hacks as current network standards, as hackers look for modes of attack against operator networks.
“Operators must stress test their networks against the variety of potential attacks they could fall victim to as they look to accelerate the adoption of 3GPP-based NB-IoT technology.
”They must employ technology that provides a comprehensive resource for proactively protecting and hardening their systems. The threat today is global.”