How to Properly Deploy IoT on a Business Network

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a futuristic concept. It is rapidly transforming industries and reshaping how businesses operate. IoT is a blanket term to describe smart devices that are internet-enabled. One example is smart sensors monitoring production lines. Connected thermostats optimising energy consumption is another.

Experts project the number of connected devices worldwide to continue growing. It is estimated to rise from about 15 billion in 2023 to 21 billion in 2026.
IoT devices are weaving themselves into the fabric of modern business operations. However, successfully deploying them on your existing network is not always easy. It can feel like navigating a maze.
Have you been struggling with the integration of smart devices? This guide will equip you with the knowledge and steps you need.

Step 1: Define Your Goals and Needs

Before diving headfirst, it is crucial to have a clear vision of your goals. Ask yourself and your team a few questions to ensure you are aligning smart devices with business needs:
  • What problem are you trying to solve with IoT?
  • Are you aiming to improve operational efficiency? Possibly, you want to gain real-time data insights. Or you may want to enhance remote monitoring capabilities.
It is important to target your IoT device deployment. Defining the issue that it is meant to solve helps you do that.
  • What type of data will you be collecting?
  • Take time to define the nature and volume of data generated by your chosen devices. This is essential for choosing the right network infrastructure.
  • What level of security do you need?
  • Security measures depend on the sensitivity of the data collected. You might need specific measures to protect it from unauthorised access.
By going through these questions as a first step, you will gain a clearer picture of your specific needs. This enables you to select the most appropriate IoT devices and network solutions.

Step 2: Select the Right Devices and Network Infrastructure

With your goals in mind, it is time to choose your components. You will want to look at both the devices and the infrastructure of the network.

IoT Devices
When choosing smart devices, consider factors like:

  • Compatibility with your existing infrastructure
  • Data security features
  • Scalability
  • Power requirements
Research reputable vendors. Choose devices with strong security protocols in place. Look for good firmware protection.

Network Infrastructure
Your existing network might be lacking. It may not be equipped for the extra traffic and data generated by IoT devices. You may need to upgrade your bandwidth, deploy separate networks for IoT devices, and invest in dedicated gateways that can manage communication between devices and the cloud.

Step 3: Focus on Security Throughout the Journey

Security is paramount in the realm of IoT. Compromised devices can become gateways for cyber attacks. Malware attacks on IoT devices increased by 77% during the first half of 2022.

Here are some key security considerations:

Secure the Devices
Ensure the chosen devices have strong passwords and are regularly updated with the latest firmware. Choose devices that offer features like encryption and secure boot.

Secure the Network
Create separate networks for IoT devices and critical business systems. This minimises the potential impact of a security breach on your core operations.

Install Network Access Control (NAC)
Install NAC solutions, such as multi-factor authentication. These controls restrict access to your network only to authorised devices. They also help you enforce security policies automatically.

Track and Maintain
Continuously track your network for suspicious activity. Regularly update your security protocols and software to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Step 4: Deployment and Ongoing Management

You should now have the necessary hardware and security measures in place. It is time to deploy your IoT devices.

Here are some tips:
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully during installation and configuration.
  • Test and confirm the functionality of your IoT devices before fully integrating them into your network.
  • Develop a comprehensive management strategy for your IoT devices, including regular maintenance, firmware updates, and issue monitoring.

Step 5: Continuous Learning and Improvement

The world of IoT is constantly evolving, and so should your approach. Here are some tips for continuous improvement:

Analyse the Data
Once your IoT devices are operational, analyse the collected data. This helps you gain insights, identify areas for improvement, and refine your strategy.

Embrace Feedback
Encourage feedback from stakeholders within your organisation. Use it to constantly refine your implementation and address emerging challenges.

Stay Informed
Keep yourself updated on the latest trends and advancements in the IoT landscape. This empowers you to adapt and leverage new technologies as they emerge.

Successfully deploying IoT on your business network requires careful planning, prioritisation of security, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

Get Expert Help for Your Network Devices

Need help embracing a proactive approach to IoT adoption? We can help you transform your business operations and unlock the full potential of smart devices at your business.

Contact us today at JohnCruzIT  to learn more.