Mobile

How the Internet of things could transform the enterprise

Internet of things
Image Credit: A-R-T/Shutterstock

It’s an exciting time to be in enterprise tech: We’re seeing tablets go from video streaming screens at home to salesforce-enabling tools in the enterprise. Meanwhile, wearables like Google Glass are going from hiking trip cameras to repairing jet engines at GE.

The “consumerization of IT” is in full swing: When the workforce learns to love a technology for personal reasons, they will find a way to bring it into the office.

One of the most challenging and exciting aspects of my job is figuring out how to transform consumer technology into enterprise solutions.

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier this month, the technology giant synonymous with innovation launched its much-anticipated HomeKit, which promises to seamlessly connect your home to your Apple devices.

This is a great example of the “Internet of Things” in action — a revolutionary concept that is generating a lot of buzz with consumers.

HomeKit will use Siri to control your home using third-party home automation systems and iOS 8. This will run the gamut of useful daily activities from your mobile device, from turning on your lights when you walk in the door to controlling your security system and connecting other household appliances.

What’s exciting for me in my role in an end-user computing business unit is to imagine how this HomeKit revolution will migrate into the “Smart Office” and ultimately the “Smart Employee.” I’m also motivated by the challenge of figuring out how all these communicating “machines” will meet the stringent security regulations many of our corporations require.

Today we are implementing technology that connects traditional devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile devices for one seamless experience that enables employees to work at the speed of life. Much in the way you can start a Netflix movie on your tablet and finish it on your smart TV, we have created the same seamless experience for your work life across devices.

Now imagine some of the ways the Internet of Things might work in the enterprise.

  • Say you have a 6 a.m. conference call with colleagues abroad that is canceled overnight. Your corporate email would communicate with your alarm clock to allow you sleep in.
  • When you’re leaving the house, your car detects the location of your upcoming meeting and automatically sets up navigation.
  • En route to the meeting, your vehicle detects an accident or traffic jam that will make you late, so it will automatically alerts the meeting attendees of your new ETA.
  • When in the office, your smartphone or device serves as your corporate badge, allowing access to a building with restrictions based on your role in the company.

While this may sound futuristic, some companies are working to make this vision a reality.

In the past, I’ve blogged about the impact that big data, mobile, and cloud technologies could have on the Internet of Things, so it is great to see some of the vision I articulated starting to become a reality.

Now, what do you think of Apple’s new HomeKit? How do you see the Internet of Things in the Enterprise working at your company? Where do you see the “Smart Office” going? Share your thoughts below in the comments.


Sanjay Poonen is the executive vice president and general manager for end-user computing at VMware.

 

 

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