Journey: IoT and the digital transformation


By Anthony Bartolo, president, mobility, IoT and collaboration services, Tata Communications 

The speed of technology and innovation is transforming the way we experience the world around us. The pervasiveness of mobile devices, social media and the cloud is bringing up a new generation of digital natives who are literally ‘born connected’. But, being born connected doesn’t only refer to humans.

It is estimated that within the next five years, the world will be home to 28 billion connected devices, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) [Ericsson Mobility Report 2016]. In a world where everything is born connected means that connectivity will be embedded within everything. All devices will have ubiquitous, seamless access to the Internet, anywhere in the world, straight out of the box. Yet, the future of this digital world lies in how all these things connect.

Infinite opportunities

The power of individuals to transform the world and the way humans interact with it through technology has already be proven by start up successes like AirBnB and Deliveroo. That’s why research firm, Gartner, has challenged CIOs to follow suit, stop investing in commoditised IT, and start building their digital capabilities, bringing greater diversity to their businesses.

Another good example tapping into IoT is the logistics giant UPS. Using on-vehicle IoT sensors connected to powerful data management platforms across its ecosystem of distribution centres, the company calculates the optimum vehicle speed to maximise miles per gallon and monitor mileage by rerouting vehicles in real time based on GPS data. Not only does this reduce its carbon footprint, it also brings down costs.

Although the world where everything is born connected may sound far-fetched, it has a potential to drive the progression of the human race in a positive and real way; a world where 28 billion devices are globally and seamlessly connected to three billion internet users, as well as each other, brings endless opportunities.

Empowering employees

According to Gartner, on the road to digital transformation, CEOs will be the captains but CIOs are expected to be the co-pilots. On this road, boosting employees’ productivity and organisational agility will be the aim of many businesses. With 45% of enterprise employees now categorised as ‘anytime, anywhere’ as indicated by Forrester Research, digital transformation should be focused on a mobile platform approach, where a multitude of corporate applications can be utilised seamlessly 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.

A shift in thinking is needed in businesses and boardrooms the world over; mobility should be considered in the same way as the worldwide web and the cloud to realise the full potential of the mobile platform. Then, 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.

It will unlock unimaginable possibilities in how 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, the mobile platform will be a real innovation engine for future mobile and IoT services.

Tata Communications’ services portfolio includes predictable high speed connections and global MPLS virtual private networks, telepresence services, DDoS mitigation and detection service, content delivery networks and cloud offerings.


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