The Internet is today in the hands of billions, transforming the way we experience the world around us for good. The breakneck speed of technology innovation and the way in which social media, mobile devices and the cloud permeate all aspects of our lives means that in many parts of the world, if you were born after the year 2000, you were born connected.
But being ‘born connected’ is not just about humans. Ericsson estimates that within the next four years, the world will be home to 28 billion connected devices, largely thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). From activity trackers and smart home hubs to connected cars and street lights, we live in a truly digital world, says Anthony Bartolo, president, Mobility, IoT and Collaboration Services, Tata Communications.
Yet, the future of this digital world lies in how all these things connect.
Imagine a world where there will be embedded connectivity within everything; ubiquitous, seamless access to the Internet, anywhere in the world. That is what we at Tata Communications want to make a reality: a world where everything will be born connected. Straight out of the box, anything can come with instant, seamless access to the Internet, anywhere in the world.
Born connected, born with limitless possibilities
The world I describe may sound akin to the technology reality described in the film The Matrix. Yet, a world where 28 billion devices are globally and seamlessly connected to each other brings infinite opportunities to billions of Internet users and businesses alike.
Start-up success stories such as Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo have shown how the IoT gives individuals the power to transform the world and the way people interact with it through technology. That is why Gartner has challenged CIOs to stop investing in commoditised IT and start building their digital capabilities, bringing diversity to businesses by harnessing the latest digital innovations.
Logistics giant UPS is an excellent case in point. Using on-vehicle IoT sensors, connected to powerful data management platforms across its ecosystem of distribution centres, UPS is now able to calculate the optimum vehicle speed to maximise miles per gallon, and monitor mileage by re-routing vehicles in real-time based on GPS data. This is having a very real positive impact, not only reducing the company’s carbon footprint but also driving down costs.
The mobile platform and digital transformation
Gartner has claimed that on the road to the much-talked-about ‘digital transformation’, CEOs will be the captains, but CIOs are expected to be the co-pilots.
In many organisations, digital transformation starts with mobility with the aim of boosting employee productivity and organisational agility. Furthermore, many organisations are already well on their way to mobilising their workforce: it has been estimated that up to 45% of enterprise employees can now be categorised as ‘anytime, anywhere’.
But how mobile can global businesses really be?
In organisations with operations spread across four or five continents, digital transformation should be focused on a mobile platform approach. When underpinned by the right mobile platform, a multitude of corporate applications can be used truly seamlessly, securely and globally via mobile, regardless of location or network – and without the high cost of data roaming.
Yet, this is just a start. The mobile platform will also pave the way for the next wave of IoT innovations. It will liberate organisations such as automotive manufacturers to innovate through new IoT-enabled business models and transform entire industries by removing the geographical barriers and network constraints that have held back the mobile industry for years.
Think mobile, be mobile
To realise the full potential of the mobile platform economy requires a shift in thinking.
Mobility should be considered in just the same way as the worldwide web and the cloud. This means being able to access apps, content and related services via mobile regardless of national borders or commercial access restrictions.
This is the premise of our mobile platform – built on our 15 years of experience in connecting businesses and people around the world.
It will not only make truly global enterprise mobility possible, but also be a powerful new revenue generator for mobile and IoT service providers and the makers of all future connected devices. By combining the potential of the IoT, partnerships in the world’s mobile ecosystem and ubiquitous connectivity, we will be able to unlock unimaginable possibilities in how brands and businesses engage with their customers and how people interact with the world around them.
In a world where tens of billions of things will be born connected, this platform will be the innovation engine for the next generation of mobile and IoT services.
The author of this blog is Anthony Bartolo, president, Mobility, IoT and Collaboration Services, Tata Communications