Around the turn of the millennium, corporate computing networks were still nascent and individuals and departments added devices to them without much oversight. At merchant banks, extremely sensitive documents could be printed using remote printers that nobody knew the location of. This would lead to furious executives screaming at helpdesk workers to find where the printers were, and helpdesk workers having to use those printers to print pages that stated, “If you are reading this, please call the helpdesk and tell us where you are.”

Two decades later and networks are faster and more devices are capable of attaching to them. But in many cases, this only appears to have compounded the problem of locating and connecting devices scattered throughout organisations to a single, centralised, managed network.

This is a particular concern for Healthcare Delivery Organisations (HDOs) – especially large hospitals. They have many expensive devices on premises and many different ways to connect them to many different types of networks.

The Internet of Things (IoT) can help hospitals address this problem. While there is much interest in using software platforms to monitor, collect and process data on networks connected to IoT devices, the use of similar software to do the same on networks packed connected to non-IoT-optimised devices is less well-known – but such platforms exist.

IoT platforms, such as Armis, automatically discover connected devices in network environments – whether medical or more conventional IT, managed or unmanaged, wired or wireless environments – regardless of whether the devices are connected to a primary network or not.

The Armis platforms’ ability to discover devices is much broader than traditional systems. It can discover medical devices such as infusion pumps, imaging devices and crash carts in addition to smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, wireless access points, printers, security cameras, temperature control systems and regular computers that are used by personnel in clinical environments.

The platform automatically discovers an array of characteristics about each device, including manufacturer, model, OS version, serial number, location, connections and can automatically export this information to an organisation’s computerised maintenance management system (CMMS).

In addition to these inventory-related capabilities, the platform provides visibility of device behaviour, including all network activity, such as DNS queries, TCP sessions, HTTP requests, device utilisation and application usage. Devices, their behaviour and networks are continuously, holistically and automatically monitored and managed, with security threats automatically detected, risk scores assigned and alarms raised.

The benefits of such platforms stretch far beyond inventory, security and management to cost-savings, compliance enhancement and other productivity benefits.

Learn more about Armis by attending the healthcare panel discussion and the Armis booth at the IoT Impact conference in Melbourne on June 9. Drop by Armis stand (#21) to learn more and get a free whisky ball ice maker. See the full IoT Impact agenda. There are tickets remaining but get in quick - buy yours now!