In the fifth and final installment of our 2019 update on the state of the IT landscape, we look at two more industry trends: the Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless and wi-fi technologies. What are they, and why is demand increasing? Why is cybersecurity still of constant importance in these areas?
Industry Trends: The Internet of Things (IOT)
What is the Internet of Things? The IoT is a global network of objects that collect and communicate data via the internet. It extends Internet connectivity beyond laptops, phones, and tablets to an extremely diverse range of “things”. IoT devices include sensors and actuators embedded in lights, thermostats, appliances, cameras, cars, etc.
Why is the IoT important? For one, it changes the way we look at everything – because everything is connected. And secondly, it helps us be more efficient – from being reactive to being proactive.
High speed Wi-Fi and intelligent cloud services are key to IoT.
- Analysts estimate that the current number of connected devices is in the range of 10 – 15 billion.
- The number of connected devices is expected to grow to 75 billion by 2025! (That is over 700 million new devices each month.)
- Individual IoT devices tend to be low bandwidth. However, the extraordinary number of devices can overwhelm a network.
- IoT technology brings much greater security and infrastructure needs.
- IoT benefits require intelligent and real-time use of the data created by these devices.
Key technology enablers of the Internet of Things are:
- Declining costs of devices, bandwidth, compute, storage
- Reduced size and power consumption
- Growing coverage of broadband and local network
The growth of IoT devices has exploded and grown exponentially in just the last 6 years.
In IOT: Security remains the constant
Even in the Internet of Things, security remains a constant concern. IoT has vastly changed the way we view and use smart devices. With this convenience comes one more major concern that we need to consider: security. Anything that’s connected to the internet can be hacked and misused. This is even more unsettling when you consider how much personal data IoT devices collect and use.
Traditional IT challenges continue. But many security risks now come from very immature, unconcerned, or inexperienced developers chasing after this fast-growing market. See this Forbes.com article on some of these IoT security concerns, ranging from the data storage and insecure devices to surveillance and DDoS attacks.
Industry Trends: Wireless and HighSpeed Wi-Fi
Smart devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), and rising demand for higher speed Wi-Fi are increasing strain on small business network infrastructure.
- Data traffic from mobile devices is increasing by an estimated 53% per year.
- 50 – 70% of all communications traffic is carried over Wi-Fi!
Newer and faster Wi-Fi standards and cloud-managed Wi-Fi platforms are creating opportunity for life-cycle replacement. Wi-Fi will pass Ethernet (hard-wired) in number of active connections by 2020.
Cloud-managed Wi-Fi is forecasted to grow at an 18% CAGR through 2023. This is nearly twice the 10% of the total WLAN market. Through 2022, 85% of new public venues will require wireless connectivity, up from 30% in 2016.
In Wi-Fi: Security remains the constant
Wi-Fi security threats are numerous. The SaferVPN Blog lists at least ten you should be familiar with. These threats range from man-in-the-middle attacks and soft hotspots to rogue networks and rogue access points. Don’t let the names confuse you. Each represents a known vulnerability that bad actors are exploiting.
Currently, everything revolves around security in the IT industry. As more and more interconnected technology is introduced into our lives and our businesses, the threat of security attacks only increases. Constant change and cybersecurity are the dominant trends today, and in the forecast.
OXEN Technology undertakes this periodic review of the IT industry to give us a view of the changing landscape and the direction we want to lead in. Our top priority is helping our clients to thrive in this ever-changing technology landscape.
The IT market is tracked closely; therefore, there is a tremendous amount of information available to review. We have found the following organizations to provide very relevant and insightful information: IDC, CompTIA, CRN, Gartner, Business Solutions Magazine, Ingram Trust X Alliance, ConnectWise Evolve, Chamber of Commerce, Google, Fortune, Intel, Deloitte, PWC, McKinsey and Company, and the Small Business Administration. We have gleaned information for this report from their published articles and personal meetings, research reports, and whitepapers.
Some of OXEN’s vendors provided deep looks into their specific markets: Xirrus (now Riverbed), SonicWall, Ingram Micro, Webroot, Datto, Barracuda, Continuum, and Microsoft.
While the research and perspectives of each organization does not match perfectly, they generally agree on scale, direction, and scope of the technologies and the industry. We used information from those that presented data in the clearest fashion or provided data specifically relevant to OXEN Technology and our clients that lead small organizations in education, non-profits, government and commercial enterprises.