Fredric Paul

Author Archives: Fredric Paul

6 years of tech evolution, revolution and radical change

Exactly six years ago today—Sept. 5, 2013—Network World published my very first TechWatch blog post. It addressed the introduction of Samsung's Galaxy Gear and the problem with smartwatches.Since then, I’ve written hundreds of blog posts on a dizzying array of technology topics, ranging from net neutrality to phablets to cloud computing to big data to the internet of things (IoT)—and many, many more. It’s been a great ride, and I will be forever grateful to my amazing editors at Network World and everyone who’s taken the time to read my work. But all good things must come to an end, and this will be my last TechWatch post for Network World.To read this article in full, please click here

Bluetooth finds a role in the industrial internet of things

Like most people, I think of Bluetooth as a useful but consumer-oriented technology that lets me make easy wireless connections from my smartphone to various headsets, portable speakers, automobile, and other devices. And, of course, billions of people rely on Bluetooth for exactly those capabilities. But according to Chuck Sabin, senior director of market development for the Bluetooth SIG, the technology is growing into a key role in the industrial internet of things (IIoT).To read this article in full, please click here

Top 5 IoT networking security mistakes

Even though Brother International is a supplier of many  IT products, from machine tools to head-mounted displays to industrial sewing machines, it’s best known for printers. And in today’s world, those printers are no longer stand-alone devices, but components of the internet of things.That’s why I was interested in this list from Robert Burnett, Brother’s director, B2B product & solution – basically, the company’s point man for large customer implementations. Not surprisingly, Burnett focuses on IoT security mistakes related to printers and also shares Brother’s recommendations for dealing with the top five.To read this article in full, please click here

Top 5 IoT networking security mistakes

Even though Brother International is a supplier of many  IT products, from machine tools to head-mounted displays to industrial sewing machines, it’s best known for printers. And in today’s world, those printers are no longer stand-alone devices, but components of the internet of things.That’s why I was interested in this list from Robert Burnett, Brother’s director, B2B product & solution – basically, the company’s point man for large customer implementations. Not surprisingly, Burnett focuses on IoT security mistakes related to printers and also shares Brother’s recommendations for dealing with the top five.To read this article in full, please click here

Don’t worry about shadow IT. Shadow IoT is much worse.

For years, IT departments have been railing about the dangers of shadow IT and bring-your-own-device. The worry is that these unauthorized practices bring risks to corporate systems, introducing new vulnerabilities and increasing the attack surface.That may be true, but it’s not the whole story. As I’ve long argued, shadow IT may increase risks, but it can also cut costs, boost productivity and speed innovation. That’s why users are often so eager to circumvent what they see as slow and conservative IT departments by adopting increasingly powerful and affordable consumer and cloud-based alternatives, with or without the blessing of the powers that be. Just as important, there’s plenty of evidence of that enlightened IT departments should work to leverage those new approaches to serve their internal customers in a more agile manner.To read this article in full, please click here

Don’t worry about shadow IT. Shadow IoT is much worse.

For years, IT departments have been railing about the dangers of shadow IT and bring-your-own-device. The worry is that these unauthorized practices bring risks to corporate systems, introducing new vulnerabilities and increasing the attack surface.That may be true, but it’s not the whole story. As I’ve long argued, shadow IT may increase risks, but it can also cut costs, boost productivity and speed innovation. That’s why users are often so eager to circumvent what they see as slow and conservative IT departments by adopting increasingly powerful and affordable consumer and cloud-based alternatives, with or without the blessing of the powers that be. Just as important, there’s plenty of evidence of that enlightened IT departments should work to leverage those new approaches to serve their internal customers in a more agile manner.To read this article in full, please click here

IoT’s role in expanding drone use

As faithful readers of TechWatch (love you, Mom) may know, the rollout of many companies’ ambitious drone delivery services has not gone as quickly as promised. Despite recent signs of progress in Australia and the United States—not to mention clever ideas for burger deliveries to cars stuck in traffic—drone delivery remains a long way from becoming a viable option in the vast majority of use cases. And the problem affects many areas of drone usage, not just the heavily hyped drone delivery applications.To read this article in full, please click here

How BMW’s new annual fee for Apple CarPlay could define the IoT

Apple calls CarPlay “the ultimate co-pilot.” BMW calls it the “smart and fast way to conveniently use your iPhone features while in your car. ... You can control your iPhone and use apps with the touchscreen display, the iDrive Controller or voice commands.”However you describe it, though, Apple’s CarPlay system suddenly finds itself in the center of what could be a defining conversation about the future of the internet of things (IoT).You see, the German luxury carmaker’s plans to charge $80 a year to access CarPlay have suddenly become the talk of the internet, from tech blogs to car sites. The hue and cry makes CarPlay the perfect illustration of the promise—and the pitfalls—of the IoT.To read this article in full, please click here

When it comes to the IoT, Wi-Fi has the best security

When it comes to connecting internet of things (IoT) devices, there is a wide variety of networks to choose from, each with its own set of capabilities, advantages and disadvantages, and ideal use cases. Good ol’ Wi-Fi is often seen as a default networking choice, available in many places, but of limited range and not particularly suited for IoT implementations.According to Aerohive Networks, however, Wi-Fi is “evolving to help IT address security complexities and challenges associated with IoT devices.” Aerohive sells cloud-managed networking solutions and was acquired recently by software-defined networking company Extreme Networks for some $272 million. And Aerohive's director of product marketing, Mathew Edwards, told me via email that Wi-Fi brings a number of security advantages compared to other IoT networking choices.To read this article in full, please click here

When it comes to the IoT, Wi-Fi has the best security

When it comes to connecting internet of things (IoT) devices, there is a wide variety of networks to choose from, each with its own set of capabilities, advantages and disadvantages, and ideal use cases. Good ol’ Wi-Fi is often seen as a default networking choice, available in many places, but of limited range and not particularly suited for IoT implementations.According to Aerohive Networks, however, Wi-Fi is “evolving to help IT address security complexities and challenges associated with IoT devices.” Aerohive sells cloud-managed networking solutions and was acquired recently by software-defined networking company Extreme Networks for some $272 million. And Aerohive's director of product marketing, Mathew Edwards, told me via email that Wi-Fi brings a number of security advantages compared to other IoT networking choices.To read this article in full, please click here

Smart cities offer window into the evolution of enterprise IoT technology

Powering smart cities is one of the most ambitious use cases for the internet of things (IoT), combining a wide variety of IoT technologies to create coherent systems that span not just individual buildings or campuses but entire metropolises. As such, smart cities offer a window into the evolution of enterprise IoT technologies and implementations on the largest scale.And that’s why I connected with Christophe Fourtet, CSO and co-founder of Sigfox, a French global network operator, to learn more about using wireless networks to connect large numbers of low-power objects, ranging from smartwatches to electricity meters. (And I have to admit I was intrigued by the 0G network moniker, which conjured visions of weightless IoT devices floating in space, or maybe OG-style old-school authenticity. That’s not at all what it’s about, of course.)To read this article in full, please click here

Where are all the IoT experts going to come from?

If the internet of things (IoT) is going to fulfill its enormous promise, it’s going to need legions of smart, skilled, trained workers to make everything happen. And right now, it’s not entirely clear where those people are going to come from.That’s why I was interested in trading emails with Keith Flynn, senior director of product management, R&D at asset-optimization software company AspenTech, who says that when dealing with the slew of new technologies that fall under the IoT umbrella, you need people who can understand how to configure the technology and interpret the data. Flynn sees a growing need for existing educational institutions to house IoT-specific programs, as well as an opportunity for new IoT-focused private colleges, offering a well -ounded curriculumTo read this article in full, please click here

17 predictions about 5G networks and devices

“As market after market switches on 5G, we are at a truly momentous point in time. No previous generation of mobile technology has had the potential to drive economic growth to the extent that 5G promises. It goes beyond connecting people to fully realizing the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”—The opening paragraph of the June 2019 Ericsson Mobility ReportAlmost every significant technology advancement now goes through what Gartner calls the “hype cycle.” These days, Everyone expects new technologies to be met with gushing optimism and dreamy visions of how it’s going to change the world in the blink of an eye. After a while, we all come to expect the vendors and the press to go overboard with excitement, at least until reality and disappointment set in when things don’t pan out exactly as expected.To read this article in full, please click here

IoT security vs. privacy: Which is a bigger issue?

If you follow the news surrounding the internet of things (IoT), you know that security issues have long been a key concern for IoT consumers, enterprises, and vendors. Those issues are very real, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that related but fundamentally different privacy vulnerabilities may well be an even bigger threat to the success of the IoT.In June alone, we’ve seen a flood of IoT privacy issues inundate the news cycle, and observers are increasingly sounding the alarm that IoT users should be paying attention to what happens to the data collected by IoT devices.[ Also read: It’s time for the IoT to 'optimize for trust' and A corporate guide to addressing IoT security ] Predictably, most of the teeth-gnashing has come on the consumer side, but that doesn’t mean enterprises users are immune to the issue. One the one hand, just like consumers, companies are vulnerable to their proprietary information being improperly shared and misused. More immediately, companies may face backlash from their own customers if they are seen as not properly guarding the data they collect via the IoT. Too often, in fact, enterprises shoot themselves in the foot on privacy issues, with practices that Continue reading

IoT security vs. privacy: Which is a bigger issue?

If you follow the news surrounding the internet of things (IoT), you know that security issues have long been a key concern for IoT consumers, enterprises, and vendors. Those issues are very real, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that related but fundamentally different privacy vulnerabilities may well be an even bigger threat to the success of the IoT.In June alone, we’ve seen a flood of IoT privacy issues inundate the news cycle, and observers are increasingly sounding the alarm that IoT users should be paying attention to what happens to the data collected by IoT devices.[ Also read: It’s time for the IoT to 'optimize for trust' and A corporate guide to addressing IoT security ] Predictably, most of the teeth-gnashing has come on the consumer side, but that doesn’t mean enterprises users are immune to the issue. One the one hand, just like consumers, companies are vulnerable to their proprietary information being improperly shared and misused. More immediately, companies may face backlash from their own customers if they are seen as not properly guarding the data they collect via the IoT. Too often, in fact, enterprises shoot themselves in the foot on privacy issues, with practices that Continue reading

6 ways to make enterprise IoT cost effective

There’s little question that the internet of things (IoT) holds enormous potential for the enterprise, in everything from asset tracking to compliance.But enterprise uses of IoT technology are still evolving, and it’s not yet entirely clear which use cases and practices currently make economic and business sense. So, I was thrilled to trade emails recently with Rob Mesirow, a principal at PwC’s Connected Solutions unit, about how to make enterprise IoT implementations as cost effective as possible.To read this article in full, please click here

It’s time for the IoT to ‘optimize for trust’

One of the strengths of internet of things (IoT) technology is that it can do so many things well. From smart toothbrushes to predictive maintenance on jetliners, the IoT has more use cases than you can count. The result is that various IoT uses cases require optimization for particular characteristics, from cost to speed to long life, as well as myriad others.But in a recent post, "How the internet of things will change advertising" (which you should definitely read), the always-insightful Stacy Higginbotham tossed in a line that I can’t stop thinking about: “It's crucial that the IoT optimizes for trust."To read this article in full, please click here

The Traffic Jam Whopper project may be the coolest/dumbest IoT idea ever

People love to eat in their cars. That’s why we invented the drive-in and the drive-thru.But despite a fast-food outlet on the corner of every major intersection, it turns out we were only scratching the surface of this idea. Burger King is taking this concept to the next logical step with its new IoT-powered Traffic Jam Whopper project.I have to admit, when I first heard about this, I thought it was a joke, but apparently the Traffic Jam Whopper project is totally real and has already passed a month-long test in Mexico City. While the company hasn’t specified a timeline, it plans to roll out the Traffic Jam Whopper project in Los Angeles (where else?) and other traffic-plagued megacities such as São Paulo and Shanghai.To read this article in full, please click here

Enterprise IoT: Companies want solutions in these 4 areas

Internet of things (IoT) vendors and pundits like to crow about the billions and billions of connected devices that make the IoT so ubiquitous and powerful. But how much of that installed base is really relevant to the enterprise?To find out, I traded emails with Rob Mesirow, principal at PwC’s Connected Solutions, the firm’s new one-stop-shop of IoT solutions, who suggests that consumer adoption may not paint a true picture of the enterprise opportunities. If you remove the health trackers and the smart thermostats from the market, he suggested, there are very few connected devices left.To read this article in full, please click here

The state of enterprise IoT: Companies want solutions for these 4 areas

Internet of things (IoT) vendors and pundits like to crow about the billions and billions of connected devices that make the IoT so ubiquitous and powerful. But how much of that installed base is really relevant to the enterprise?To find out, I traded emails with Rob Mesirow, principal at PwC’s Connected Solutions, the firm’s new one-stop-shop of IoT solutions, who suggests that consumer adoption may not paint a true picture of the enterprise opportunities. If you remove the health trackers and the smart thermostats from the market, he suggested, there are very few connected devices left.To read this article in full, please click here

1 2 3 14