While there is no doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) is fast making inroads in day-to-day businesses, companies still grapple with exactly how to take control of IoT, including not only the management of connected sensors but also the data gathered from them.

To create context on exactly the extent of IoT and why it should matter, Gartner estimates that through 2020, 90% of IoT projects will use some form of IoT gateway.

Additionally, the worldwide installed base of IoT endpoints is expected to grow from 12,1-billion at the end of 2015 to more than 30-billion in 2020, according to IDC. As IoT becomes prevalent in the enterprises, organisations need a simplified approach to manage, monitor and secure their infrastructure and data.

“As enterprises look to transform into digital businesses, this creates an opportunity for IT and OT teams to collaborate as they embrace IoT to improve operations within their business, while generating new forms of revenue,” says Matthew Kibby, regional director of VMware Sub-Saharan Africa. “The biggest challenge for businesses facing the IoT question is however how they can efficiently manage, operate, scale and protect their IoT projects from the edge to the cloud.”

According to Kibby, taking control of IoT implementations is no easy ask, not to mention securing them. A significant challenge comes in when a customer needs to move from Proof of Concept (POC) to production. Monitoring a couple of devices in a POC environment is easy enough, but now try and track, visualise, monitor and secure hundreds of thousands of different types of edge systems and connected devices across their IoT use cases.

“Systems are needed to simplify the complexity of managing customers’ IoT infrastructure and sensors as one, which is why we have recently released VMware Pulse IoT Centre. With this product we will help customers improve reliability of infrastructure by providing accurate and real-time visibility of the health of the ‘things’ in their environment as well as enable a customers to proactively address anomalies before they arise,” adds Kibby.

Critically VMware Pulse IoT Centre takes security into consideration, and if we dwell for a moment on the damage that the Mirai Botnet caused in late 2016 making use of only IoT devices, this is potentially the most important component of any IoT installation.

Kibby states that the new solution, highly focused on enterprise IoT, leverages existing, proven technologies from both VMware AirWatch for device management and VMware vRealize Operations for infrastructure monitoring and troubleshooting. It has been built to meet the specific, complex needs of IoT for both IT and OT teams, while supporting a broad range of edge systems and their connected devices.

“All well run IT systems are only well run if they are well executed and implemented. We are looking to assist customers with better management of their IoT devices through visibility of them; real-time infrastructure analytics and real-time monitoring; better security by minimising data exposed by creating a tunnel from data point to application by using VMware NSX as an add-on; as well as assisting with simplifying the deployment of these devices with one management tool for all devices,” states Kibby.

VMware Pulse IoT Centre is expected to become available in calendar 2017. Pricing will be announced upon general availability. The solution will be sold as both a standalone solution by VMware and partners as well as a bundled offering via partners such as Dell EMC and others.

VMware Pulse IoT Centre, which will be available as both a simple to deploy on-prem solution and as a Service offering, is currently in private beta with customers across automotive, entertainment, retail banking, health care and manufacturing industries.