Internet of Things: It's going to cost you

The Internet of Things--millions of smart devices communicating with each other seamlessly--promises to bring vastly improved efficiencies and lower costs to enterprises worldwide.

Unfortunately, many companies are using smartphones and tablets to control IoT devices through a few centralized data centers, an approach that Paul Brody, vice president of IBM Global Business Services, compares to generals fighting the last war. "Applying a centralized cloud-based business model to these devices will mean decades of expense without decades of associated revenue," Brody writes in a guest article at Venture Beat.

Instead, Brody recommends that enterprises adopt distributed, edge-based cloud computing. This way, every device will be linked at the edge of the network, instead of having to communicate through centralized data centers.

Of course, IBM just happens to offer a distributed, edge-based cloud computing architecture. It is called Block Chain and is modeled after the architecture, of all things, BitCoin. "Using the Block Chain we can implement the typical transaction processing work done by centralized data centers without any of the cost associated with those systems by using compute power generated by individual devices that would, in most cases, go to waste," Brody writes.

Brody is not the only one to bring up the issue of IoT costs. Certainly, the costs of securing all of those connected devices, and the potential cost of insecure devices that spill confidential data to hackers, need to be factored into any IoT cost calculation.

A recent report by HP Fortify found that 70 percent of IoT devices are vulnerable to an attack. HP Fortify examined the top 10 IoT devices and found that there were an average of 25 vulnerabilities per device.  

IoT security tops the list of concerns of IT pros have, according to a survey of 202 IT decision makers by Opinion Maters for GFI Software. In addition to security, respondents cited increased IT costs and greater device management challenges from IoT devices.

The moral of the story: IoT might make processes more efficient, but it won't come cheap.

For more:
- read Brody's Venture Beat article
- check out HP Fortify's study

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