Internet of Things to Stress Enterprise Networks

The survey also revealed almost two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) believe the Internet of things to be a threat to network security.

enterprise networking and IoT

While many enterprises feel prepared for the impending era of the Internet of things (IoT), there may not be enough network capacity to handle the demand that will accompany an anticipated explosion in the number of connected devices, according to a survey by Infoblox.

For instance, more than half (57 percent) of survey respondents reported their current network is already at full capacity, and a similar number (54 percent) see network infrastructure management as a high priority for their organizations.

"It’s encouraging that the majority of IT professionals recognize the demands the IoT will make on their networks," Cricket Liu, chief infrastructure officer at Infoblox, said in a statement. "Network administrators have struggled in recent years to stay on top of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, and the IoT will create an increase in end points that is an order of magnitude greater."

The survey of 400 IT professionals, conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom, revealed that despite overall trends toward flat or very low-growth IT budgets, 89 percent believe they’re very or quite likely to receive more budget in the next year to respond to IoT demands, and 73 percent believe the same to be true for staffing.

"With so many objects and IP addresses being added, it’s important for network teams to keep track of what’s on their network at any given point, and also to bear in mind all these objects and IP addresses are potential weak links in an organization’s IT infrastructure," Liu said.

When asked if it is difficult for IT managers to control where IoT deployments are occurring across the business, 56 percent agreed it is.

The survey also revealed that almost two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) believe the IoT to be a threat to network security.

While nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents said their organization has an integrated IoT deployment plan and IoT deployments can’t be authorized without involvement from IT, 45 percent admitted they do not get sufficient information from line-of-business teams to manage those deployments.

"These results, while seemingly in conflict, align with what Infoblox customers are telling us anecdotally," Liu said. "IT departments have a seat at the table when business units—such as operations, manufacturing, marketing, sales and customer service—want to move forward with IoT deployments. But these business units often get deep into the buying process before calling IT, sometimes forcing IT to scramble to provide support for devices that lack the full set of connectivity and security protocols found in established categories such as PCs, tablets and smart phones."

The market for IoT, excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones, is expected to grow to 26 billion units in 2020—an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion units in 2009, according to a recent report from IT research firm Gartner.