By Shailesh Haribhakti and Arumugam Govindasamy
With a vertically integrated offering traversing Digital infrastructure, 5-G, customer interfaces, devices and technology, the stage is set for India to exploit the full power of Digitalisation.
The coming quantum computing world will bring the Internet of things(IOT) alive in India. IoT fuels a world of connected devices to make our lives easier: smart cities, fleet tracking, temperature monitoring and the digital transformation of agriculture. IoT has the potential to disrupt both business and policy. For instance, Amazon is using connected robots to locate products from its warehouse shelves and to bring them to workers, saving time and money. Similarly, the medical field is transformed by the use of connected devices to monitor the real-time health of patients.
During the current pandemic, IoT is a need-to-have. People and businesses are relying on IoT products such as remote connected health monitoring solutions, packaging and shipping trackers, and streaming devices — the devices that are enabling remote work, telehealth, and distance learning. It also means that a tremendous amount of data is being transmitted, received, stored, and analyzed at the edge, or on devices. IoT devices are making it possible to eliminate dense gatherings of workers to avoid virus transmission.
Interwoven with the rise of IoT is an even stronger demand for processing and storage. As the pandemic built up, the need for latency free data transmission is realized. For example, business video conferencing requires low latency immersive HD video. The pipes simply aren’t large enough to do that with acceptable performance. At the same time, very little of that data you send and receive is worth storing, and most of it only has value for a small period of time. Of course, some of that data is actually tremendously valuable, but might require added AI software to extract it — and of course that’s immensely compute intensive.
With travel restrictions due to COVID-19 the use of virtual meetings is on the rise as multinational companies developing new technologies have the required expertise in different locations. This makes the move towards AR/VR and meeting virtually real.
The role of data infrastructure is important to ensure that mission-critical data can be transmitted, received, stored, and analyzed where it’s needed and when. Most important is a boost in connectivity. That kind of internet connectivity and speed is becoming increasingly available, and availability has begun to accelerate as demand continues to increase. Then there’s 5G.
For several years, 5G has been getting a lot of hype because users want the ability to connect anywhere, and share large data files and videos, and 5G seemed set to deliver.
The pandemic has shed a light on ways that 5G, were it fully deployed globally, could help home-based workers and/or workers still onsite who are focused on mission-critical manufacturing and other work. 5G is a key driving force in helping IoT move forward enabling more reliable autonomous manufacturing processes via new standards for ultra-low latency in factories. The processing power required for 5G is tremendous, and along with that comes the requirements for data storage.
Every crisis leaves a long-lasting legacy in terms of faster innovation and a ”new normal.” COVID-19 will accelerate the move to digital and to companies adopting IoT, AI/ML and 5G amongst other converging technologies to drive digital transformation.
According to the findings by McKinsey Global Institute IoT combined with mobile Internet will have substantial global economic impact of up to $20 trillion by 2025 and will be the key economic driver among disruptive technologies. For India to surpass the projected $5 Trillion economy, the digital India initiative with focus on IoT and mobile Internet will be the key force. With the frozen economy due to the pandemic, IoT will need to be empowered. The Technological disruption based on IoT and mobile internet will create innovation and entrepreneurship simultaneously.
IoT requires localized innovation, which requires Indian Government support in terms of providing appropriate funding, mobilizing private and public sectors for innovation and push for using homegrown technologies for better security, privacy and sustainability. All this and more will need to be catalysed by retraining, unlearning and relearning and a new pace of innovation. The Indian trained manpower alone is capable of delivering this growth. From a negative 9.5% to a positive 5% is a journey the only converging exponential technology can deliver.
- Shailesh Haribhakti and Arumugam Govindasamy are both Chartered Accountants. Views expressed are the authors’ own.