Tag Archives: IOT

Five Future Technologies to Watch for IT Service Management

As technology advances at such a rapid pace, many IT solutions become outdated very quickly. If organizations want to stay competitive and up-to-date with current technology, they need to stay informed about future technologies or their current solutions become quickly outdated . With regards to IT service management (ITSM), here are five technologies to watch that impact ITSM solutions in the future:

    1. Internet of Things (IoT)
    2. Security and Compliance
    3. Security Broker Authentication
    4. Predictive Analysis
    5. Virtual Reality

 

Internet of Things (IoT)

We will see an impact to ITSM solutions from IoT in two areas, CMDB and ITAM. To support IoT, ITSM processes and tools need the ability to integrate into IoT APIs.

Network systems and applications are typically provided access with Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology; however, IAM would be overwhelmed with the relationship and access demands required by IoT. Therefore, the Identity of Things (IDoT), which is an extension of IAM applies a unique identifier (UID) to IoT devices. This allows you to control relationships and access between the IoT and other entities inside and outside of your organization.

Gartner says, “IT asset management (ITAM) and software asset management (SAM) systems have traditionally managed IT and software assets of all types. The IDoT will assume some functional characteristics of ITAM and SAM within or integrated with IAM architecture, or be linked to ITAM as attribute stores.”

Without proper tracking of IoT devices and their configurations, it is difficult to apply security policies. ITAM and a CMDB will be critical for tracking the influx of IoT devices that are expected to hit company networks over the next several years.

Security and Compliance

Security is the number one priority in most organizations; however, not all organizations have integrated their security with IT service management processes. ITIL security management defines best practices when planning, controlling, analyzing, and maintaining security policies and processes to protect sensitive data.

A solid padlock securing the data paths of a circuit board. White Background.

It is important to build processes that integrate security management into change management processes if organizations are looking to minimize risk in the future. Over the next few years, IT organizations should expect to see more integration capabilities from their ITSM solution providers, which will allow them to integrate their security tools.

Security Broker Authentication

As IT solutions move into the cloud, many organizations will implement a cloud access security broker for authentication.

2016-09-16_8-08-31

Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) can be on-premises or cloud-based. CASBs enforce security policies prior to allowing access to cloud resources.

Gartner says, “By 2018, 50 percent of enterprises with more than 1,000 users will use cloud access security broker products to monitor and manage their use of SaaS and other forms of public cloud.”

IT service management need to be prepared to support those having difficulty accessing the organization’s cloud solutions using CASBs

Predictive Analysis

In order to make informed decisions, it is important to understand current network service impact and costs. This is accomplished when current data as well as historical metrics are analyzed in order to predict future behaviors or to understand unknown events.

Predictive Analysis helps IT service organizations distribute workloads based on data from multiple sources.

Many ITSM software solutions are expected to add predictive analytics capabilities to their service management solution; however, these features are not useful if the IT organization does not have the expertise required to understand the data provided by these tools. IT organizations should consider employing a data scientist if they want to take full advantage of all the data and metrics that IT service management tools will soon deliver.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) solutions could soon work their way into the IT business environment. Knowledge management is a challenge for many organizations. In the near future, don’t be surprised to see IT organizations flirt with VR technology as they advance their employee training services.

Double exposure of man wearing virtual reality headset

Research and Markets believes that the industry will see over 60% growth every year for the next five years, transforming it from a fringe technology enjoyed by the techy few into a major medium for gaming, entertainment, and business.

VR could one day become a component of your Knowledge Management offering if the technology is retrofitted and accessible via an ITSM self-service portal.

-follow me on Twitter @marcelshaw

Three Reasons You Need ITAM for the Internet of Things (IoT)

It was 1984, and I was off to the only movie theater in the town where I lived. The movie was called Terminator and although it was science fiction, the story line had an eerie ring of truth. It was about intelligent computers rising up and rebelling against its human progenitors . This movie introduced many of us to the concept of the internet 10 years before it started to become part of our lives.

Soon after we started connecting personal computers and laptops to the internet, smartphone and tablet technology took root and were mainstream by 2010. Today we are witnessing another major shift in technology with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30% from 2014, and is expected to reach 25 billion by 2020.

How do you choose what to manage and what not to manage for IoT?

With the increased amount of smart devices coming online, the question becomes what smart devices do we track and how do we track them? Many organizations are still figuring out how to implement ITAM with BYOD. Therefore, an ITAM solution for IoT might not be on the radar for many organizations; however, a strategy should be considered for the following reasons:

  • To control inventory
  • To control access
  • To provide security

Control Inventory

When assets are tracked, information about purchase dates, warranty, and lifecycle states help to control the inventory of the assets. Organizations have to decide which smart devices should be tracked using an ITAM solution. For example, should the ITAM solution track a smart light bulb? It might not make sense to track just one, but it could make sense to know how many smart light bulbs are owned and where they are installed.

Furthermore, if there is a software package that controls smart light bulbs, a relationship could be created linking the application to the light bulbs and to an associated software entitlement license. For IoT, I believe it is more practical to manage the contracts, licenses, and vendor information in the ITAM database versus tracking each smart device individually.

One could also argue that smart light bulbs are not considered IT assets and should be managed by facilities’ systems. However, the line between facilities and IT becomes blurred when smart light bulbs are controlled by an application that requires a software license.

Gartner states, “the IoT is not only about the introduction of different forms of networked devices into digital business moments; it is a transformational approach to viewing and implementing processing, analytics, storage and communications.”

Control Access

Relationship management is an important part of an ITAM strategy. Relationships are also very important in the context of IoT. Not only does an organization need to know which devices to connect to their systems, they need to control access between IoT devices and other IoT entities, IT assets, applications, and people.

 IOT

Access to systems and applications is provided using Identity and Access Management (IAM). However, traditional IAM solutions are not capable of dealing with the relationship and access requirements that come with IoT. Therefore, the Identity of Things (IDoT) is an extension of IAM that applies a unique identifier (UID) to IoT devices/objects, which allows you to control relationships and access between IoT and other entities inside and outside of your organization.

Gartner says that “IT asset management (ITAM) and software asset management (SAM) systems have traditionally managed IT and software assets of all types. The IDoT will assume some functional characteristics of ITAM and SAM within or integrated with IAM architecture, or be linked to ITAM as attribute stores.

Provide Security

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is addressing IT asset management for the financial services sector.

“An effective IT asset management (ITAM) solution can tie together physical and virtual assets and provide management with a complete picture of what, where, and how assets are being used. ITAM will enhance visibility for security analysts, which will lead to better asset utilization and security.”

IoT security is an evolving endeavor to provide security to all devices connected to the internet. Security experts have warned of the potential risk of large numbers of unsecured devices connecting to the Internet since the IoT concept was first proposed in the late 1990s

Smart light bulbs in the home are a great way to save energy, and smart vacation settings turn lights on and off in different rooms to make it appear someone is home. Smart criminals, such as organized crime or cyber-criminals, could hack your system and learn your vacation programs, thus alerting them that you are on vacation. They could then sell that information to street criminals informing them of who might be out of town in that criminal’s area. From this example, it is clear that organizations need to apply security to IoT devices so that access is denied to unauthorized users, devices, and malware.

According to Proofpoint, more than 25 percent of the botnet was made up of devices other than computers, including smart TVs, a refrigerator, and other household appliances.

ITAM will provide inventory information to a security system. Without the inventory information, an organization might not be aware of existing connected IoT entities and their potential security risk. If you don’t have an inventory of all devices connected to the internet, then you don’t have a complete security solution. In my opinion, the lines between ITAM and security will continue to disappear; meaning, that one day, complete security solutions will not exist without an ITAM solution in place.

Conclusion

The good news so far is that Skynet is not yet self-aware which, if you are familiar with the movie Terminator, signaled the beginning of the rebellion against humans. We might not be facing a threat from intelligent interconnected computers waging war on the human race; however, we do face threats from other countries, criminals, and terrorist factions. Computer systems as well as all their connected devices could be used against us if compromised by someone with malicious intent. IoT will force a fundamental change in how security is implemented by making inventory control and knowledge about the presence of connected entities a priority security requirement.

 

-follow me on Twitter @marcelshaw