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12:40 PM
Don DeLoach, InformationWeek
Don DeLoach, InformationWeek

3 Steps To Survive The IoT Wild, Wild West

Before you charge into the Internet of Things, focus on these policy and infrastructure considerations.

Despite its gold rush vibe, the Internet of Things is still in its formative stage -- a lawless frontier where IT must think strategically to protect future company interests. Here are three things you can do now to stake a claim as the IoT unfolds:

1. Realize data governance is more important than ever. There are already a lot of voices clamoring for control of your data. Governments and policymakers are going to have their say and swing their weight. As you embark on your IoT journey, it is vital that you document and establish clear policies and procedures around the data your company interacts with and owns. Access control, analytics, retention, and backup policies need to be clear, and these areas must be managed from early on. While some starting points can be put in place today, others will require monitoring and adaptation as you progress. Here are a few examples:

The need to monitor and understand the constraints, standards, and scope of the Internet of Things as it unfolds on a global basis. This includes contemplating naming conventions (such as the Object Naming Service, a derivative of DNS providing structure to the IoT), related security provisions, industry and geopolitical operational guidelines, and legal restrictions.

Keep an eye on who is trying to influence standards and what that might mean to your organization. Precursor technologies, like RFID and closed-loop, silo-based sensor monitoring systems, provide lessons. How did those technologies shape your business, and how will that translate into the governance of IoT?

Does the governing body (or bodies) operate centrally, or will there be local controls? Who and what will be the authority for international control? Some have suggested that organizations like the World Trade Organization or the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development could be likely candidates for this role. Keep a close eye on the extent to which state laws, international laws, or industry self-regulation could shape the constraints under which you will have to operate.

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