According to Gartner’s 2015 Hype Cycle report for Emerging Technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the most hyped emerging technology for the second consecutive year. Along with autonomous vehicles, speech-to-speech translation and advanced analytics with self-service delivery, IoT currently occupies the peak of inflated expectations. While it doesn’t necessarily mean the Internet of Things revolution is at our doorstep, it’s important to be cognisant of what it does signify: the Internet of Things isn’t going anywhere – in fact, it’s establishing itself as an integral part of the technological zeitgeist.

But even before we take our first steps towards IoT as a maturing technology, we need to evaluate the impact it will have on the way we interact with networks, specifically with respect to Network Performance Monitoring.

What does the advent of IoT mean for future networks?

The majority of articles that talk about the future of IoT and its impact on networking and network performance monitoring focus on concerns around IP addressing space and the need for ISPs to switch to IPv6 on a large scale. This is a perfectly valid concern – by some estimates, 30 billion devices will be online by 2020 – but it’s by no means the only factor to consider when it comes to how IoT will impact the performance of networks around the world. The customer’s expectations of network service is constantly changing as new technologies emerge that facilitate faster, more reliable connectivity. In today’s networking landscape, any downtime at all is becoming less and less acceptable in the eyes of the client.

As networking technology colonises more of what we consider “offline” space, customers will come to expect nothing less than 100% uptime rates. In the context of the other top trends identified in the Hype Cycle report (and particularly autonomous vehicles, in light of the Chrysler hack last month), network downtime will no longer be an inconvenience, but a real threat to personal wellbeing, and network performance monitoring methodology needs to reflect this going forward.

What will the influence of IoT be on our personal and professional lives?

New to Gartner’s 2015 report is the inclusion of technologies that facilitate what Gartner terms ‘digital humanism’ – the school of thought that claims people should be the focus in the implementation of digital business and digital workplaces. “The Internet of Things (IoT), smart machines and mobility form a set of interrelated disciplines that will soon be of huge importance to business. They will drive efficiencies, unveil growth opportunities, and create new experiences for customers and constituents. They are among the pillars of digital business — creating new business designs by blurring the physical and digital worlds. Mobility, IoT and digital business are creating a massive interest in analytics technologies and disciplines. Meanwhile, enterprises recognize the true capabilities of cloud computing, especially in the areas of software as a service and cloud office.”

The big question is: Where to from here?

In the same way that the recent Chrysler hack demonstrated the reality of network security breaches in the IoT era, developers, engineers and product designers alike will realise the potential for technology to uplift the lives of people around the world. We’ve already seen several cases of how technology can empower people – on a macrocosmic scale, the internet itself is a perfect example of how technology can give a voice to people in any corner of the Earth.

As technology becomes increasingly embedded in the ‘real world’, the importance of network performance monitoring will become paramount. Identifying potentially crippling issues before they arise and applying appropriate solutions will be key to maintaining the uptime levels that customers of the future will demand.

Partner with a future-facing network provider.

IRIS has over twenty years’ experience in the networking and telecoms industries. Our software is uniquely scalable, versatile and responsive, and is suitable for network environments of any size or complexity. With a robust yet lightweight network monitoring and reporting system, our software is geared to provide you with maximum uptime and visibility with minimum impact to resources. To find out more about our network performance monitoring and network reporting software, please don’t hesitate to contact us and book a free demo to experience IRIS first-hand.

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