Guest post by John Brennan, software engineer working in the health insurance industry, with a Masters in Cloud Computing from CIT.

On Thursday last, I attended a very interesting tech event organised by [email protected] The subject under discussion was the very topical IOT (Internet of Things). This was a panel based discussion chaired by Simon Cocking of IrishTechNews and consisted of 5 leaders in the IOT space here in Ireland:

Mike Cronin – Johnson Controls
Niamh O’Mahony – Dell EMC
John Savage – ActionPoint
Brian Jordan – Cisco Systems
Eoin Carroll – Intel Security

It was interesting to get the panel’s take on IOT, particularly given the amount of hype around this area of technology. Here are a few key points I took away from this discussion:

Security: needs to be considered from the very beginning of your IOT project. There are enormous challenges in the areas of identity, privacy and trust. A comprehensive analysis of security threats and strategy needs to be worked out up front. Trying to return at a later point in the product lifecycle to fix issues around security is likely to be very expensive and ineffective.

Collaboration: A successful IOT implementation involves a diverse range of skillsets. On the technology side you have requirements for expertise in hardware, data analytics, security, programming. But it’s not just all about technology either there’s also legal obligations in the area of data collection and data privacy. As John Savage mentioned several times “we have to stop trying to boil the ocean”. Given the wide array of disciplines involved, companies (even the big ones) are going to have to collaborate if they want to succeed.

Use Cases: People don’t want to be force fed technology. Mike Cronin summed this up by saying people don’t specifically want a smart city. What they do want is a safe city, a clean city, a city with great transport and public services. IOT can enable these objectives to be met. The bottom line is that IOT products must be demand driven and solve real world problems. Essentially if you’re considering developing an IOT product or service you need to keep asking yourself what is the Return on Investment (ROI)?

Analytics: pretty much every IOT project is going to involve analytics in some shape or form in order to make sense and extract value from the data that’s been gathered through various sensors and devices. We are likely to see a significant ramp up in demand for data scientists in the years ahead.

Full details on this event and its panelists can be found on the [email protected] events page:

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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