Wait a minute, Internet of Businesses? Yes, am sure you must have heard of Internet of Things (IoT) and how the whole world will go to its knees if the security professionals don’t step up their game to match that of the crackers or hackers.
There will be yet another ‘black hat’ convention in the next couple of weeks in Los Angeles where security professionals would come together to demonstrate how the IoT is posing greater threat to the world as a result of the ever increasing internetworking and connectivity capability of our devices ranging from the toast in the kitchen to our wearable devices in our wardrobe.
In as much as we all appreciate the privacy dangers posed by this so-called internet of things and the fact that the security strategy and awareness has to increase, we should not forget the fact that the weakest links in all these technologies are still the users and start educating the users.
I think it’s time we shift our focus aware from threat posed by this internet of things (IoT) and focus a little bit on both the benefits and dangers of Internet of Businesses (IoB) which is the theme of this post.
The question is; should we be talking of Internet of Things (IoT) or Internet of Businesses (IoB)? Well, I am of the opinion that we should lay more emphasis on the Internet of Business. Businesses cannot benefit by the mere fact that its devices are connected to the devices of another business. Rather, businesses would benefit from what happens after the connection.
What is Internet of Businesses (IoB)?
Have you ever thought of the level of collaborations and integrations that exists in today’s boundary less business world; or the implementation of lean processes and Just-in-Time (JIT) philosophies in modern day businesses? How about the use of intranet and extranet to share corporate resources?
I haven’t even mentioned various treaties and agreements that businesses have gone into in a bid to be beneficially connected to one another. Did I hear you ask ‘what about the video conferences?’
Internet of Businesses is a phrase that I use to describe the ever complex connectivity that exists in today’s business world through the help of technology. Note that the use of technology is vital here. Some people refer to this as collaboration through the use of technology, while some call it infrastructural partnership but I chose to call it the Internet of Businesses (IoB) as technology plays a huge part in the process.
The IoB is not just a concept; it is a philosophy that has been a major characteristic of businesses from time immemorial. Businesses constantly search for allies that will help them establish their presence in an otherwise unfamiliar territory. The internet marketing guys prefer to loosely call this Internet of Businesses joint ventures.
Benefits of Internet of Businesses
Economies of scale: businesses through internetworking and collaboration gain economies of scale. The developer of Pokemon Go would not have probably reach as many audience as it reached if it had not leveraged on the large network of various app stores like play store and apple store.
Speedy completion of processes: philosophies like Just-in-Time (JIT) now appeal to most manufacturing businesses because they can rely on the power on Internet of Businesses to guarantee speedy delivery of raw materials for example.
Expansion of horizon and reach: globalization and ‘technolization’ has removed the boundaries that once existed in the business world. Through internet of businesses, a small business in Ihiala can effectively conduct meaningful and fruitful transaction with a large business in Silicon Valley. All thanks to the power of Internet of businesses through technology.
Sharing strategic information: the internet of businesses makes it possible for strategic ideas to be shared amongst businesses. Internet of Businesses is viable source of external strategic information for decision making.
Benchmarking best practices: businesses are able to exchange ideas in a bid to improve how things are done. Tips on best practices are shared in the process of benchmarking.
Improvement in delivering customer value: the experiences of customers are greatly improved as a result of efficiencies that are brought about by collaboration of businesses. The discipline of customer service has immensely benefited from the internet of businesses that has been achieved as a direct result of explosion in IT development.
Makes companies smarter: the needs for unnecessary bureaucracies are now the thing of the past because of the flexibility that businesses now take for granted. Businesses are now smarter because they no longer have to do everything by themselves. Network form of business now has the confidence to outsource virtually of non core activities thereby focusing on what really matters.
Improved business operations and decisions: business operations and decisions are fast and more efficient because companies now interconnect in a way that benefits all concerned.
Threats or weaknesses of Internet of Businesses
Risk of corporate espionage: the Internet of Businesses exposes organizations to possible betrayal by the people they have come to trust. Trade secrets may be divulged to the wrong people or through an inadequately secured medium. Businesses that are not adequately secured have had privacy concerns in the past.
Misconception: businesses can wrongly believe that they are connected to another in a mutually beneficial way but end up being unfairly exploited. A malicious business partner may trick your business into believing what is not right.
Sometimes leads to conspiracy: people of negative like minded can collude to commit financial crime.
The fuss about internet of things should be reduced and the energy channeled towards the actualization of the benefits of internet of businesses.
People should stop focusing too much on how to secure devices and pay attention on the soft side of securing a business by taking care of the human element of securing a system. This way, too much unnecessary investment will not be made into securing IT infrastructure from criminals.