Businesses need expanded Ethernet as IoT gains popularity

Many business owners may have heard a lot about the Internet of Things in the past few years. However, in a lot of cases it may have taken some time for the shifting reality of more connected devices to actually arrive in their offices. But now that the IoT seems here to stay, it's vital that companies be prepared for the residual effects of broader adoption.

While not every company has invested in, say, a "smart" coffee machine, the fact is broader connectivity of devices that previously didn't require them is a reality for everyone to grapple with, according to a report from Control Design. As more decisions are made to replace older machines and with connected devices, it's important for companies to do so wisely.

More connected devices in the office means changing internet connection needs.More connected devices in the office means changing internet-connection needs.

What can companies do?
When it comes to the effects of the IoT, executives almost universally understand them to be positive, the report said. Experts at Rockwell Automation found that the vast majority of executives see new revenue streams springing from the IoT, and slightly more felt it would have a positive impact on job growth. But at the same time, very few respondents said they have plans in place to harness the IoT's power for the good of their companies.

However, it goes without saying that executives need to be smart when choosing the connected devices their companies will use to get ahead, the report said. Purchasing connected devices for the sake of having them can actually be problematic, because the function they provide might be canceled out by the demands they place on the company.

For instance, all connected devices use bandwidth on any company's internet connection, especially if they're being used to stream videos. This is also true as employees bring their own connected devices to the office in addition to what is already on the premises. Consequently, that might lead companies to look for Ethernet solutions that will allow them to handle the additional demand in stride, without paying a lot more for it. Looking into Ethernet for business plans as a means of determining the best possible way forward here can go a long way. That kind of effort may be particularly beneficial for companies as they attempt to get out in front of this issue before making any significant capital investments in new devices, rather than making the purchase and scrambling to correct slower connection speeds.

Do the legwork
As more companies adopt IoT-enabled devices in the near future, it might also be wise for them to examine the different types of Ethernet connections available, according to a report from Machine Design. By doing so, executives will be able to make the most informed decisions possible when it comes to how their companies will meet their ever-growing and changing needs.

Most companies won't have to dramatically shift their needs as time goes on, but getting a better understanding of what kind of equipment they might require and the other types of investments they will need to make to ensure they're meeting their ongoing needs, the report said. Simply upgrading from standard Ethernet to a faster connection might be all that's required here, but experts recommend ensuring networks reach no more than 10 percent of capacity for optimal performance.

In general, getting an overarching understanding of how a business uses its various internet connections now will be vital to making the right decisions going forward, and this is an issue that should be re-evaluated every time new "smart" devices are brought into the office environment.