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How to bring IoT into IT?

09 March 2021

It's unfortunate, but to date, IoT has not yet become part of the IT mainstream and the two worlds too often coexist in ignorance of each other. However, this is the direction of history: one day, it will be vital for companies to pilot (and secure) these two worlds themselves. Modern management, which consists of transposing the methods and tools used to manage mobile devices to fixed devices, will also apply to the IoT.

BtoC connected objects already exist today in the professional environment, but they mostly escape this central and indispensable element that is the corporate directory, a database where user rights are stored (a notion that the general public has no use for) and from which the company's application and security policies are derived.

News

By Jean-Cédric Miniot
General Manager - ITS Ibelem
Column published on the Journal du Net

For example, the company directory allows an employee X arriving in front of a meeting room to open it with his smartphone: the system recognizes him as being part of the company, finds his room reservation and validates his presence. At the end of the meeting, a sensor, a probe or a beacon sends a message to the system as soon as he leaves the room. The system can also automatically assign a flex office, with a locker that can be unlocked using the access badge. As soon as he enters the room, the lighting and temperature settings he likes are automatically programmed to his location.

Single checkpoint

In parallel, thanks to modern management tools, the employee's laptop and smartphone are already controlled from the cloud. If this platform also controls connected objects one day, it will become the single point of control for all tools used by an employee. There is still a long way to go, as the IoT connection is far from being standardized - LoFi protocols such as Lora or Sigfox are still not widely shared and 5G or WiFi are too power-hungry to be used - and its security remains uncertain, as it relies on proprietary protocols that make it a dangerous gateway to the corporate network.

The problem lies in the management of connected objects, as their manufacturers, who dominate the market, tend to keep a jealous hand on their management... These objects, especially wearables (watches, glasses, etc.) will not be able to remain for long in a proprietary approach, isolated from the rest of IT: this independence is by nature impossible in the BtoB world. Manufacturers will increasingly come up against the user-centric approach of companies, for whom what matters above all is the management of users' rights and uses, freeing themselves from the object or service, whatever its type.

Unified Solutions

More and more, our retail and industrial customers are looking for unified solutions capable of managing, securing and optimizing PCs, Macs, smartphones and the ever-growing family of connected objects and other wearables. Modern management is the answer to this new problem, capable of managing corporate endpoints as well as the IoT universe. Only it can meet this demand for rationalisation of tools and costs via a single platform. Yes, the worlds of IT and IoT are going to converge and it is the first of the two that, in our eyes, holds the solutions to achieve this convergence.

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