So says Warren Olivier, Veeam's regional manager for southern Africa, who notes IOT will put immense pressure on organisations that deliver IT services.
This week, market analyst firm Gartner predicted 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30% from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.
Olivier says IDC predicts the adoption of IOT products and solutions will grow dramatically in the next few years from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020, as two-thirds of consumers plan to buy connected technology for their homes by 2019, and half plan to buy wearable technology.
Based on recent research, Infonetics Research points out the global mobile machine-to-machine module market, on which the IOT relies, is set to accelerate more noticeably in 2015 and ultimately nearly triple to $4.5 billion by 2018.
Vishal Barapatre, group CTO at In2IT Technologies SA, says the most basic definition of IOT is the connection of physical objects and devices such as consumer electronics and industrial equipment, for instance, to the Internet protocolnetwork.
Software is then used to monitor and remotely manage the functioning of these devices, which ostensibly means they can "communicate" with each other, says Barapatre.
He believes the next big area of focus required to reach the IOT dream is the widespread migration from IPv4 to IPv6.
It is only via the evolved IPv6 protocol that we will be able to handle the massive increase in devices and data that all these connected devices will be transmitting, says Barapatre.
Essentially, he explains, the migration to IPv6 is vital to ensure organisations are able to accommodate an infinite number of IP addresses, whereas IPv4 only allows for 4.3 billion unique addresses. IPv6 is critical for the successful development of the IOT in the future.
"With IOT, there is certainly a lot to consider – how will you be evolving your networks and your devices to capitalise on the new possibilities? How will you manage the IPv6 migration? What new efficiencies and solutions will connected devices enable? What applications will you use to make sense of this flood of big data? How will IOT contribute to your business transformation strategies?" Barapatre asks.
Olivier believes consumers have very high expectations that their data, which is increasingly stored in the cloud, should be available where they want it, when they want it – whether it's their running history, their share portfolio or their family photographs. "This means the companies supporting and storing that data must exemplify the always-on business by providing constant availability."
He adds data must also be protected against loss and unauthorised access. "Consumers revolt against companies that fail to take their privacy concerns seriously, and laws like the Protection of Personal Information are on their side.
"So, as companies gather and store more and more data about individuals, the burden on them to protect that data grows. With an Internet-connected TV, for example, there are central records of everything you've ever watched, your credit card details, what you've downloaded, potentially even your video chats. The consequences for any company that allows that data to fall into the wrong hands will be disastrous."
Olivier says companies need to ensure they avoid data loss through near-continuous data protection, verify their protection to guarantee recovery, and use appropriate encryption to protect against unauthorised access.
"In the modern data centre, that often means protecting data at two different physical sites, as well as protecting the connection between them," adds Oliver. "And if backups are stored in the cloud, they need to be under just as much protection," he concludes.