Trends in mobility and IoT are leading to more data, how does this create opportunity in the channel?
Mobility is growing at exponential rates with the proliferation of IoT. Gartner estimates 11.2 billion connected devices globally, a 25% increase from one year ago. The growth is expected to accelerate putting us at 20 billion connected devices by 2020, and this is a conservative estimate.
So, what does that mean? Not only will this continue to influence our interactions with one another, but how we engage with everything from our thermostat and refrigerator to our health and healthcare. This also means that cities will become smarter, logistics will become more efficient, supply chains will be streamlined, and automation and machine learning will continue to expand with the expectation of real time data delivered, around the clock.
No matter what the connected device is, data is collected and stored for future use; making it no surprise that IT leaders have prioritized big data and business intelligence (BI) in their 2018 plans. So, how can we, as channel partners support customers to achieve their data dreams? By approaching their data and BI initiatives with a comprehensive, technology solution. Let’s break it into categories: access, storage and security.
Remember the days of network design that consisted of desktop computers and POTS lines? Now, at a minimum, each employee is connecting to the network with at least three devices, a computer, mobile phone and IP-based desk phone. Dive into verticals like healthcare and you have other machines and connected devices including employee/patient monitoring devices. Retail as another example, is equipped with POS systems and customer devices which will continue to increase as more IoT comes to the market. Access needs are changing, here is how you can help.
Growth in number of devices on the network require companies to utilize network vendors with scalability options, and work with professionals to design more efficient networks so data collected can be analyzed and visualized all while remaining in line with compliance and regulation.
- Cloud Connects
Depending on where the customer stores data, a cloud connect to AWS, Azure or other cloud platform could be the fast-lane they need to meet their business needs while keeping their data private.
- Vertical Specific Solutions
Retail managed Wi-Fi and mobility solutions like fleet management provide customers with access to more data on the activities most relevant to their business.
The amount of data an organization could obtain, analyze, visualize, etc. is endless. Big data is the merging of many data sources both of structured and unstructured data. The commonality is that storage needs continue to grow no matter the big data needs of each organization.
- Cloud Storage
Storage for big data used to be limited to solutions like Hadoop, now major cloud platforms like AWS, Azure and Google offer big data capabilities (elastic and scalable) leading to increased options for your customers with hybrid and public cloud-based solutions.
- Cloud Migration
As more companies become comfortable with a cloud environment, they will need support migrating data and adopting the new environment. Work with some of TBI’s top-tier vendors to make sure your customers receive the support they need to ensure data integrity, security and a smooth migration.
- Vertical Specific Solutions
Data storage and security can be more challenging depending on the business’s use for the data and the industry’s regulations. For instance, secure record storage in healthcare makes it easier for databases to access patient information, analyze data and comply with HIPAA.
The amount of data that comes from smartphones, tablets and connected devices no doubt leaves an enormous amount of opportunity for storage, processing, visualization and analyzation but that all leads to the inherent question of security. Data protection is a chief concern for businesses of all sizes and scope. It is often the SMB who overlooks the security solution with a mindset too narrow and an aversion to cost. This is often a fatal decision as more than 60% of SMBs do not recover from data breaches.
As workforces continue to be mobile, risks continue to grow. Every company needs to take into account data center infrastructure, network design, segmentation, provisioning speeds especially with new devices connected to the network, device authentication and encryption and more. Additional protection is well worth the cost and allows for quicker recovery when a breach does happen.
- Security Solutions
Work with TBI vendors to design and deliver on IoT network security. A comprehensive plan should incorporate solutions like unified end point management and protection. As the number of connected devices continues to grow, simplify management of these devices with a solution that allows customers to manage endpoints from a single pane of glass. Or deploy endpoint features like antivirus, antimalware, firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems.
- Back Up and Recovery
DDoS attacks and ransomware can create challenges for businesses who cannot afford downtime. BaaS can help your customers comply with the 3-2-1 data strategy but also offer quicker recovery. Layer DDoS mitigation on top of that and fight those malicious attacks before they can truly cause trouble.
- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Guard more than just the files and ensure your customers have a plan for protecting and recovering all applications. The power of data is amplified by the quality of the applications surrounding it. These applications can draw insights, trigger automation and offer endless value to businesses.
Key questions to uncover opportunities with your customers mobile strategy:
- What and how many devices does an employee use? Company owned or employee owned devices?
- Does your staff use any specific applications, daily? Are you launching any apps?
- How do they plan to use the data collected there?
- Where will the data be stored and analyzed?
- How are your employees connecting to those cloud ecosystems?
- What other applications are accessing the data?
- Do you have a plan to integrate those applications and data?
- Who is managing the database platform? How are permissions granted?
- How is the data protected? What is your security policy around this?
- How are you backing up this data?
- How much downtime can you afford?
As a digital marketer, I am a data junkie and constantly looking for new insights from the data we collect. This leads to new programs and better, more interesting content for our partners. All businesses want ways to better understand their customers and offer them a product or service that sells more, faster. Help your customers achieve these goals and guide them through their mobility and data journeys with access, storage and security solutions.
Have questions or want to learn more? Utilize our Solution Engineers and your TBI Channel Manager on your next opportunity.
About the Author
As Marketing Manager at TBI, Rachel Bruce is responsible for TBI's digital campaigns and marketing systems. She develops strategic programs to cultivate leads, enhance agent and service provider relationships and enable sales. In addition, Rachel collaborates across multiple departments to provide valuable resources for TBI's agent partners and customers. You can contact Rachel at email@example.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.