The Smart Devices are here. The Smart Devices are here. Just not on your wrist, yet…

First off, in pantheon of smart devices, smart watches are not. They are more screen as a service and extension devices than pure smart devices. Interesting devices and frankly the Pebble does amazing things, but they are not purely smart devices.

Smart devices have characteristics. One of those is independence. I can make decisions without connecting to a phone or a user interacting. I know when to sip power and when to gulp power. Smart devices have another characteristic. They have ranges in which they exist without reporting and only report out the variance. Motion, i.e. the user moving from one location to another is something you track. The number of times a person blinks in a meeting is something you don’t track.

Why does it matter? Well it has an impact on two enterprise systems. The first being the IT deployed infrastructure and the second being the IT managed or OT infrastructure. What is deployed and how you manage it. CPS devices and as a subset Smart Devices live within the structure known as the enterprise. They are not independent of the enterprise they are part of the enterprise. CPS devices be they manufacturing systems all the way down to security systems are built and deployed to support and improve the IT capabilities and the business capabilities of an organization.

Today, there are just over 1.2 CPS devices per person in the world. That means a company of 120,000 people will managed roughly 120,000 CPS devices. Now we can actually modify those numbers based on the nature of the organization. In effect today the average organization would have more devices per person than the 1.2 we started with. There are between 2-4 billion people on this planet that are not connected to smart devices today. So in effect the average company of 120,000 people would be managing between 250,000 and 400,000 devices.

Some of those devices fit into the unmanaged bucket. I.e. your personal cell phone. Your organization may manage a container on your device but not your device. Manufacturing companies may have started optimizing the assembly lines with CPS devices. Interesting security note, hard wired or encrypted Wi-Fi on factory floor that doesn’t exceed the fence line of your company and DOESN’T connect to the internet is more secure than a system that does. A little harder to update but you can fix that as well.

Smart devices should also include the capability to update only the security hardware of the device. They should also support the broader concept of one to one security (you attack the device, it has some level of defense) and one to many security (you attack the device it defending’s itself and asks for help from those devices it is connected to).

I will end with what I started. Smart Watches are screen as a service. Useful, fantastic and continuing to add features and value. Eventually the concept of a smart watch will become a smart device. But for now they aren’t smart devices they are screen as a service devices. Smart devices in particular are your smart phone and devise that are aware not only of the context of their operation but of the operations of other devices you have deployed.

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