Blog The 5 Big Strategic ITSM Challenges for 2015 - CHALLENGE #5: The Enterprise Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic in IT right now. Much of the focus is around Consumer IoT (CIoT), i.e. how bringing connectivity and intelligence to consumer devices and other objects that consumers interact with can enhance the customer experience. But how can bringing previously stand-alone devices online improve service management? How can we implement an Enterprise Internet of Things (EIoT) to benefit the organization?
The majority of the IT estate is already connected. It goes with the territory. Desktops, laptops, printers, tablets, router, switches, smart phones, desk phones and just about everything else that lives under the wing of IT is already connected, monitored and controlled from afar. So the primary impact of enterprise IoT is going to be outside IT. It is in other business-facing service domains where there is most value to gain. The first applications of Enterprise IoT began in logistics and supply chain management with RFID tags (although this technology has now been superseded by pervasive Wi-Fi and IP v6). The next obvious target is Facilities Management, and EIoT will likely spread out from there. Consumer IoT is limited only by the imagination and, wherever there are business objects that play a part in the internal value chain, there are opportunities within the enterprise for improved manageability, reduced risk and lower costs.
As soon as you “smartify” business objects, the line between what is an IT problem and what is not becomes blurred. Who looks after monitoring alerts from these newly connected objects? Who needs to respond when there’s an issue? EIoT brings non-IT assets closer to what IT does. They belong to other departments, but now they’re a bit more techy. This is yet another driver for Enterprise Service Management. As the lines between IT Service Management and Enterprise Service Management continue to blur, it makes more and more sense to centralize service management and draw all of the company’s service domains (and smart assets) together under one service desk, one helpline number and one self-service portal.
However, there are some key hurdles to overcome:
- Enterprise IoT is immature in many areas of the business and the lack of proven ROI may put off all but the innovators and early adopters.
- Non-IT service domains will need considerable consultative support from IT to bring IoT-enabled devices into play.
- The flood of data that EIoT brings will require careful Capacity Management, an IT process that is still immature in many organizations.
- The addition of a wide variety of new and unfamiliar “end nodes” brings new types of vulnerability that the IT security team must handle.
Enterprise IoT is a driver for ESM, but also an enabler for efficient ESM operations. From the support perspective, smart objects bring a lot to the table. Self-diagnosis, automated alerting, self-healing/run-book automation and remote control make it easy for the enterprise service desk to monitor and manage this extended estate without expanding the service desk or field engineer workforce. In fact, the intelligence that these smart devices carry can actually reduce the scope of issues which require human intervention. When an enterprise object does need human intervention, it’s instantly visible to the service desk. As a stand-alone object it would previously require an end user to report the issue, by which time the business impact could be considerable. Smart objects can make your service desk aware of an issue before it manifests. Despite the challenges, it makes sense to be able to track and manage all of the assets that support service management operations.
Find out more in the full briefing paper: The Big 5 Strategic ITSM Challenges in 2015.