Our offices are now connected to a so-called "Internet of Things," or IoT, a term that describes network connectivity of everyday objects.
Somewhere along the way, your telephone, your thermostat and even appliances in your office kitchen became devices instead of simple tools and appliances. Everything is connected these days and it does not look like it will slow down any time soon. In fact, Cisco estimates that by 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet.
That is 6.58 connected devices per person. Some of these devices are a great addition to your farm office, but as much as the technology world embraces connectivity, there is also reason for caution. Here are some tips
1. Secure your network. If you have important devices connected without a secure network, it can create security risks. Maintain a guest and a private wireless network, and ensure you have a unique, encrypted password for both your router and access to the internet through your router. Avoid keeping default login information for your router.
2. Think about data usage. More devices connected to your network means more data usage. You may think that data usage is not a serious issue for you, especially if your connectivity is limited due to a lack of reliable internet access in your area; however, as broadband services continue to grow, so will your reliance upon connected devices.
3. Connect with common sense. Just because you can, does not mean you should. When you consider the purchase or use of a connected device, determine whether or not it will actually save you time and money. If the answer is no, you can probably leave that internet-connected stapler at the store.
4. Plan ahead for tomorrow, today. It is just as important to plan ahead for changes in technology as it is to plan for future crops. Do your research, and take time to consider and anticipate changes in technology that may affect your smart office.