How to prepare your school for the Internet of Things onslaught

Follow this checklist as everything from watches to thermostats goes online

internet-thingsTech-savvy higher education IT executives may be on top of many of the changes looming in technology, but the Internet of Things (IoT) is not yet one of them. They are fully aware it is coming, but as of now, the IoT is not yet a major focus. Given the wide-ranging security, bandwidth, legal and business implications involved, this may be a mistake.

The Internet of Things basically refers to any so-called “smart” object that uses an internet connection to enhance functionality. Today there are watches, forks, thermostats, and any number of other related devices that students or school campuses may be bringing to a network near you.

Planning for this next evolution of networking needs to simultaneously be defensive (ensuring that IT infrastructure is ready) and offensive (encouraging and leading groups outside of the IT department such as teachers and students to take full advantage of the promise of the IoT.)

According to Gartner, we’ve entered the “Wild West” era in IoT adoption. With that in mind, here is a quick checklist for preparing your school or district.

Next page: Control the network and set your policy

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