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VMware CIO commands IoT effort

Clint Boulton | June 9, 2016
The software company releases to open source an SDK intended to let developers build Internet of Things applications that run on any network device, OS or infrastructure.

IoT adoption hindered by security concerns, lack of standards

Iyer says experimenting with IoT now will also allow VMware to figure out a sensible security model -- one of the major IoT hurdles with which companies are struggling -- that could make the company a reliable go-to source for IoT advice and solutions in the future. "You don't want your email, network and [applications] to fall apart during a month-end close because somebuilding management app is trying to do something funny," Iyer says. "And I can easily see that happening."

He also says he expects industry standards around IoT – there are many eligible specifications but too few adherents to one or another — will be established in the next 12 to 18 months.

While companies struggle to figure out whether IoT initiatives should be led by IT or assigned to a dedicated team, Iyer says unequivocally that the CIO should lead such projects because they know the corporate IT architecture. Eventually, the IoT know-how will become as much a part of a CIO's job description as implementing and managing an ERP system. As buildings become more connected, CIOs will be called upon to demonstrate their proficiency in IoT. He says VMware will use Liota to experiment with some connected building scenarios.

"There's going to be pressure [on the CIO] to make the buildings very effective [and efficient],” Iyer says.

Iyer credits VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger with letting him take the reins on Liota, which was developed over the last two months by programmers and released to GitHub just last week. While VMware has no plans to make money from the SDK, Iyer says there will be opportunities to commercialize future IoT offerings, potentially around managing and securing the applications that enable machine-to-machine communications. "I believe that if you solve the pain point, the money comes," Iyer says.


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