| | OCTOBER 20199Many niche segments are emerg-ing such as connected houses & buildings and embedded homes or offices. Healthcare, manufac-turing and education verticals are leading the adoption. But as the market grows, decision makers, es-pecially CIOs, face lot of challenges to overcome. A cultural change is needed in business so that people are encour-aged to evaluate new ideas and are rewarded for the same. Lack of awareness and conservative com-pany cultures restrict people from thinking differently about their buildings and processes in gener-al. Different does not always mean bad. Yes, change in processes and responsibilities are challenging, but it can bring measurable rewards for the organization. IoT and Intelligent buildings are bringing a wide range of low-volt-age building systems together like Wi-Fi, access control, consumer durables, audio-visual (AV), video surveillance, distributed antenna systems (DAS), lighting, and build-ing automation systems under IP so that they can communicate with each other. This convergence requires a common cabling infra-structure so that different devices and systems no longer act in silos. Companies can gain significant capital and operational savings with sustainability over the life of the fa-cility. But CIOs must be clear about the present and future devices which will come under a converged system and what type of cabling infrastructure is needed to achieve this. The organization should see that power delivery using low-volt-age cabling and power over Eth-ernet (PoE) technology greatly reduces cost per device. Disparate proprietary platforms are decreas-ing, and they are getting flexibility and better information sharing for control and management.Securing IoT channels from hackers is another challenge which may come-up. Although a bit hyped, cybersecurity can be cor-rectly addressed by identifying the specific systems and topologies, as this is a strategic decision. When we talk to our end users about IoT adaptation, this has frequently been one of the concerns they bring-up. If consistency is not maintained while embedding security into the endpoint devices, head end and network path than this might bring some challenges. As such, end-to-end security must be incor-porated in all connected building solutions. Proper encryption and coding must be achieved across all systems, which can be managed via wireless-based communication and installers with experience in TCP/IP should be well versed in these secu-rity protocols. The IT department should clearly define user usage and access and set-up internal pro-cess for better management.Lowering the installation cost, leveraging PoE using low-voltage platform, lowering the energy cost and running the building at optimal efficiency should be required, and a CIO must plan for all these while deciding their IoT strategy. Also, it would be key that proprietary soft-ware controls are eliminated, which prevents building owner/user from being vendor locked.PoE-based devices need a re-liable cabling infrastructure. Al-though cabling infrastructure con-stitutes a fraction of the overall cost and is often not given enough emphasis, it is the foundation for connecting and enabling commu-nication for all types of low-volt-age devices. IoT devices need a higher level of bandwidth and me-chanical reliability due to the high temperatures generated in PoE sys-tems. Category 6A shielded cables qualified to 75° C deliver reliable 10 Gig performance and better heat dissipation to support high-er power IEEE 802.3bt Type-3 and Type-4 PoE.IoT can simplify businesses and create a more useful environment, enabling healthier, happier and more productive environments for employees. But it is essential that CIOs plan for IoT strategy during early phases of their projects, in-cluding all the stakeholders who would be involved, like builders, architects, designers, system in-tegrator, vendors and OEMs. And most importantly, they must keep an open mind; think differently in achieving convergence and inte-gration of building systems, while delivering performance and band-width to support present and future IoT technologies. Although there will be some high input cost to start with, over the life of the building, cost saving and benefits will far exceed such initial costs and busi-ness will achieve their return on investment. As IoT ecosystem ma-tures, the cost for devices and solu-tions will also reduce, which should make adoption of IoT easier. Prem Rodrigues, Director - Sales & Marketing
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