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Barriers to IoT Adoption & How to Overcome Them

Tackle Problems Head On Instead of Eschewing These Technologies

iot adoption

What is the one risk factor that everyone jumps to when talking about IoT adoption? Security. But like any digital transformation, what lies at the heart of these issues is not the technology themselves, but how we adapt and use them in a safe manner. 

If you’re getting fed up with being shut down by your boss whenever you bring up the benefits of IoT, it might be time to bring a list of counter-arguments to the table. Otherwise, your company may well end up getting left behind! 

It can be easy to dismiss new inventions and innovations as fads, or too costly to work on right now. That is no longer the case with Industrial Internet of Things, because the latest reports are now saying 61% of companies are using an IIoT platform in their industrial setting, according to Kaspersky

We all know that the key to thriving in any situation is to tackle problems head on, rather than eschewing these technologies. Those of which we end up having to adopt anyway, so we may as well tackle them early and become comfortable with the processes and techniques. 

Time and again we see the following problems and queries raise their heads in relation to IIoT, so we thought we’d discuss not only the possible issues but also how to address them so your organisation can prosper through adopting IIoT.  

Security & Safety

Organisations who want to adopt IIoT are indeed feeling very insecure about it all, and it can be easy to understand why. Hacking and malware (malicious software) attacks are becoming more mainstream with the abundance of devices now connected to the internet. It’s not uncommon to hear a big story almost everyday about a hack or other form of data breach. The impact a breach can have in an industrial setting could be severe and shut down potential supply chains, so it’s imperative that the organisation builds up a safe and secure IIoT system and platform to manage potential risks. 

Overcoming the Security Barrier

What can an organisation do to overcome the enterprise and industrial IoT security barrier? Opening up your enterprise network to the internet doesn’t have to be a scary place, because with this checklist you can rest assured that all bases have been covered. 

  1. Configure firewalls: Assess firewall applications so that you can filter internet traffic based on source IP, destination port (where the data is going to?) and packet content (what data is being sent?).
  2. Always update your software: Software vulnerabilities are a major concern for companies but can easily be avoided by dedicating time each month to go through your code and data to check and test for weaknesses, and then update accordingly. 
  3. Train and educate employees: You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and it is often the case that employees are a vulnerability here. Everyone should have strong passwords, be able to understand a phishing email (although these should not even make it into the inbox in the first place if the correct firewalls are up) and use two-factor authentication. 
  4. Vulnerability testing and white hat hacking: In most organisations, there is a lot of sensitive data being shared constantly. Bringing in an expert outsider to try and penetrate your systems to see if they can access this data, or bring down one of your industrial machines will quickly highlight where you’re most vulnerable, and how it can be countered. 

Gathering and Understanding Data

In the industrial setting, there are data streams constantly flowing from various devices and objects; forklifts, production lines, cameras and many others. These connected devices must be able to provide context to what is going on in the enterprise, or otherwise there will be vast piles of unstructured data and no action taken because there are no clearly defined goals for this data. Because everything in the enterprise is also connected, the device data must also overlap so when one system fails, the other system that is linked to it will also be notified. 

Take for example steel pipe manufacturers using pumps with multiple sensors on it. One system will be assessing the usage of this pump and how long the motors will last during the lifetime of this pump. Another system will be assessing how often and at what times of day this pump is being used. The two systems need to overlap to ensure that if the motor flags that it needs replacing, they can then take the information from the other system to see at what time of day (when it’s used the least) should they fix the motor equipment. 

If the systems are working in correlation, then the overall processes will run smoothly and the IoT platform will function as it is supposed to. Otherwise, the predictive maintenance would still cause downtime to some degree. 

A clear goal and map of the use cases needs to be laid out from the offset. The devices need guiding and structuring so that the outcomes are beneficial for the business processes. 

Rather than implementing IoT simply for the sake of it, or on the other hand being too afraid to take action because of all the possible risks, will lead to adoption and adaptation problems down the line. Staying clear and consistent of the business goals and outcomes and using a platform that is well versed in your line of business will keep your organisation safe and evolving with your system and processes. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any concerns or thoughts you have about implementing an IoT platform in your organisation today. 


Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

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