I think it is safe to say senior level tech executives are asking the right questions when it comes to M2M. Now the question becomes whether or not the M2M tech community is providing the right answers. 

During our Connected World Conference in Santa Clara last week, the CIO (chief information officer) Panel brought to light some interesting discussions around the ways in which M2M is being viewed at the enterprise level. The panel was a direct result of efforts we put in place about a year ago with the magazine to help give CIOs and other senior level tech executives a voice in M2M.

First came the establishment of the board of advisors, made up of such individuals and next came regularly scheduled meetings with the group to discuss the idea of M2M. From there the idea was born to give these individuals a forum in front of the M2M community in order to help the two groups better understand what is needed of each other.

Three of our board members, Kevin Soohoo of Air Systems, an EMCOR Co.; Mark Grimse of Rambus; and Brian Zaugg of Applied Micro Circuits participated with Glen Allmendinger of Harbor Research moderating the discussion. Some of the highlights:

Grimse: When introducing new things to the IT environment, he wants to know precisely how these ‘things’ will behave. Questions pop up left and right, like: Is it a valid device? How do I control it? And just like with regards to BYOD (bring your own device) and the need for MDM (mobile device management) tools, Grimse wonders if we will eventually need some type of “IoT manager” to control it all?

Zaugg: With regards to BYOD, his company supports it and he sees it with regards to smartphones and tablets. But he says they in turn are putting additional responsibility on users to become more security aware. This becomes an important point of consideration, as the tradeoff for allowing users to carry in their own devices is putting more of the onus on them to ensure any data they are exchanging is secure. Now, finding the right tools to track this most effectively becomes the question.

Soohoo: Excited about the prospect of something like 4G LTE allowing data to be transmitted at faster rates, he continues to ponder the big question of just how much data to put on the network. Another interesting point Soohoo brought up is with regards to the behavior of the networks and how the data impacts this aspect.  

It was nearly an hour of high-level information, big-picture questions, and a call to action for both CIOs and the M2M industry at large. One theme I took away from the discussion was the fact a CIO’s job is no longer simply related to things like keeping the servers running, but rather enabling secure and accurate data exchange. These executives want in on the M2M discussion and are looking for answers from the technology community.

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