“80% is education. People just don’t know. We need to find a way to collectively teach. They all want it, they just don’t know how it can be done.” – Brad Buss
The Internet of Things may seem like a dauntingly vast and abstract concept. How do we make sense of it? What are the challenges of implementing the allusive Internet of Things? How will it change city structures for the better?
An exciting CIO Roundtable discussed this very complex topic at Wipro HQ. Wipro is a global technology and consulting giant which leverages Open Innovation and IoT to help businesses adapt to consumer needs in ever-changing markets. Sharing and learning about problems within the IoT realm from brilliant minds of diverse companies benefits all parties. Param Singh, CEO of IoTracks, Inc., presented on IoT interoperability, primarily focusing on three challenges and opportunities: security, integration, and connectivity. (See complete list of attendees here).
“IoT solutions must be relevant. Is this the best use of resources? Should we track bicyclists or count the number of homeless and give them services?” – Param Singh
Param reiterated the role of IoT in three different infrastructures: 1) To extend existing solutions, 2) create an integrated dashboard across vertical silos (managing systems which can’t normally operate with other systems), and 3) to drive policies toward having a more open innovative system of collecting and sharing data.
Relating to the issue of connectivity, Brad Buss, CFO at SolarCity, inquired how IoT would address spontaneous internet connection failure. Param explained that the gap between cellular networks and wifi is a critical issue in which long range/low power networks, such as Sigfox, can be integrated at stations where an enterprise would get its own secure network and if it dropped, could be rolled over to a backup network automatically. This method could cover an entire grid, similar to Google’s city wifi, and still provide seamless connectivity- even if the first connection fails.
Munish Khetrapal, Managing Director at Cisco, asked about another critical issue: security.
“How do you control these networks?”
Kilton Hopkins, CTO of IoTracks, Inc., chimed in to explain that the system must be tamper-resistant and have an identity certificate:
“What are the stacks [networks] I’m moving through? Is it being transported in a way that can be open and secure simultaneously? The system must have the right security, the right layers.” – Kilton Hopkins
Arnie Lund, Lab Manager at GE, voiced the issue of getting other cities to open their data. Kilton shared that it was an operational challenge to cross different jurisdictions for the sharing of data and Param suggested that starting small and presenting a use-case within an existing budget can prove that something can be done.
By visually presenting solutions to different cities and how these key IoT challenges of security, connectivity, and integration are being dealt with; we have a higher chance at getting more cities to open their data and be one step closer to becoming a Smart City.
“The more we can package up use cases and disperse, the more success we’re likely to see and adopt – especially in India.” – Param Singh
By Lorja Fogel