IoT success depends on data governance

IoT success depends on data governance, security and privacy

IoT success depends on data governance, security and privacy

Tyrone Grandison, Deputy Chief Data Officer at the US Department of Commerce, says “agility and nimbleness” are key to capitalizing on emerging trends like the internet of things (IoT).

But he warns that “waterfall demands” on the data management life cycle will force firms to increase their focus on more complex and detailed data governance. These intensified demands, in turn, lower the probability of organizational success in this space.

When industry experts were asked to weigh in on the topic, several key themes emerged. The result is a list of 10 common mistakes organizations have made in their efforts to seize the momentum around IoT.

We all know we shouldn’t innovate for innovation’s sake. According to Sam Edelstein, Chief Data Officer at the City of Syracuse, “The biggest danger relative to IoT likely has to do with treating it as a shiny object.” He warns that preparation will “take time and money,” which affects its potential. “Without it,” he adds, “investment in IoT could result in little or no benefit.”

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Preparation must be rooted in clarity. Dana Blouin, IoT thought leader, reports that “the biggest mistake a company could make to put themselves in jeopardy would be to not clearly define a data privacy policy, which clearly outlines what the scope of the data being collected will be and how it will be used.”

Calum Barnes, Senior Manager at Xively, adds that not all data is good data. This leads to excessive collection, which comes with its own issues – from processing to security. “All data is not created equal. While collecting and processing data into actionable intelligence is a great benefit of connected devices and the IoT, companies should start by first understanding the problem they are looking to solve and collect the data that will help solve that problem.”

Kirk Borne, Principal Data Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, reminds us that “the promise of IoT is greater visibility and actionability.” Further, he contends that “this promise can go unfulfilled” if we don’t ask the right questions, such as:

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“Data governance is getting evermore complex with the devolution of company tech borders, [with] data flowing to and from a breadth of devices, which are more often mobile and across a wider range of operating systems and platforms,” says Ian Moyse, Sales Director at Axios Systems.

Rob Steele, Consulting Systems Engineer at RoundTower Technologies, adds, “Most businesses already have a big data problem as they are constantly trying to keep up with the influx of new data, including the rapid growth of the IoT.”

To many, governance is synonymous with control – that is, to ensure security and compliance, even data quality. But Chuck Martin, Editor at MediaPost, contends that it’s a mistake to “too tightly restrict the ebb and flow of information, especially among and between connected devices.” That kind of grip can quickly break down the agility and nimbleness for which we strive.

Compliance best practices are there for a reason and should be embraced.

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