As a part of the TechMNxt charter, Tech Mahindra is progressively investing in next-generation technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, IoT,

As part of Tech Mahindra’s growth strategy, IoT for Smart Cities and Industry 4.0 will be our focus: Karthikeyan Natarajan

Internet of Things (IoT) is undeniably the key element to powering the future of connected technology. IoT is not only vested with the power of connecting devices and systems but can also develop new customer-oriented, revenue-boosting business models.

Tech Mahindra focus on IoT

Karthikeyan Natarajan, Global Head, Engineering, IoT & Enterprise Mobility, Tech Mahindra discusses with Voice&Data on how his company is focusing on the application of IoT in various fields and how IoT in combination with 5G will shape the future.

Few excerpts:

Voice&Data: What are the top trends in the Internet of Things technology which you foresee in the year 2020?

Karthikeyan: Connecting objects with the Internet of Things (IoT) is only the beginning. The true potential of IoT will be realized only when sensors, networks, and platforms are designed to come together to converse and correlate and when systems are not just integrated, but orchestrated to deliver connected operations and experiences.

It has been estimated that the number of things connected to the Internet will be more than 5 times the population by the end of 2020.

IoT has permeated all walks of the digital life – from smart homes and factories to wearables and smart supply chains. This is just the beginning; the possibilities are limitless. It has been estimated that the number of things connected to the Internet will be more than 5 times the population by the end of 2020. The focus, therefore, needs to be on how can this new world be mobilized to run businesses better. To make this happen, we need a fresh approach around scalable yet lightweight architecture, choice of engineering, and integration platforms that enable a perfect mix of connections and experiences attracts users to fluid and seamless transactions and cares to use the insights from ever-multiplying data sets to keep customers engaged and systems running.

Some topline trends which I see coming alive in 2020 in IoT technology include:

  • An increased shift towards the development of smart, safe and sustainable cities – which would be equipped with world-class amenities like Intelligent Traffic Management System, Smart Parking Systems, Robust Surveillance Mechanisms, Smart Waste Management, Public Wi-Fi etc. with the view to offer better citizen services. Today, around 150 cities across the globe are doing something serious about smart cities and this is only going to accelerate by 2020.
  • Movement to EDGE – The data deluge that comes with an IoT ecosystem will require EDGE computing capabilities to facilitate faster data processing at or near the source of data generation i.e. embedded devices or sensors.
  • Adoption in the insurance industry for better risk management, risk assurance, and risk assessment – This is going to be another major trend that we can expect to come alive with IoT to precisely assess the risk appetite of customers.

The data deluge that comes with an IoT ecosystem will require EDGE computing capabilities to facilitate faster data processing

Voice&Data: What according to you are the top 3 use cases of these new-age technologies?

Karthikeyan: While the benefits of IoT and new generation technologies can be seen across sectors and verticals, there are three verticals where I see a huge potential in terms of IoT adoption and these are:

The healthcare industry will be immensely benefited with IoT adoption and 5G. For example, in case of an emergency, hospitals can track and analyze vital information related to the patients such as details on his past ailments, allergies, and doctors can get started with the treatment procedures, even before the patient reaches the hospital. Essentially, we will be able to better utilize the time before the treatment starts. Also, a lot of data exchange can be made possible across various formats. Whether you have a CT scan or some other heavy report scans – one can actually transfer it across locations to get 2nd opinion and decide on the apt treatment for the patient.

Mining Industry: Collection of data related to machines, safety, the operational environment, production processes and other aspects of operations, in near real-time can completely transform the mining industry. Real-time monitoring and analytics can help companies to understand possible process variations and deviations. It can generate meaningful insights that can help miners to take effective actions, make changes to drive higher process efficiencies and manage probable safety threats. Many mining companies have already turned to IoT based smart solutions to monitor operations, improve efficiency and ensure workforce safety.

Gaming industry: With response time being a key element in Online Gaming, I believe IoT adoption will significantly enhance the gaming experience.

Voice&Data: What are the key measures taken by the Government to increase the adoption of these technologies in the age of Industry 4.0?

Karthikeyan: Businesses need to look at the transformation journey as an effective way to change the growth trajectory. There must be an increased focus on improving quality and productivity by using digital technologies to make fully integrated factories. India is very well placed as far as progress on the smart cities mission is concerned, be it infrastructure or technology. Countries across the globe can take cues from India’s strategy and follow the model being adopted here.

On Industry 4.0, India’s manufacturing sector contribution to GDP is around 15% and we have an aspiration to move to 25% over the next decade. This cannot be achieved without making the factories smart and efficient. The adoption is likely to accelerate over the next 5 years, with enhanced technology adoption by Indian manufacturers.

As far as consumer IoT is concerned, there is an explosion of smart personal care devices and smart products like a vacuum cleaner, water purifier, scooter, home, etc. However, adoption is slow. For this to become mainstream, the focus on business transformation needs to pick up momentum. As the Indian economy braces itself to reach a mark of 5 trillion dollars by 2025, the government and industry need to collaborate further and work towards building a sustainable economy.

As the Indian economy braces itself to reach a mark of 5 trillion dollars by 2025, the government and industry need to collaborate further and work towards building a sustainable economy.

Voice&Data: What is Tech Mahindra’s strategy to leverage these technologies to unlock future growth opportunities?

Karthikeyan: As a part of the TechMNxt charter, Tech Mahindra is progressively investing in next-generation technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Robotics and Analytics to cater to the customer’s evolving needs. As part of our growth strategy, we will continue to focus on Smart Cities. We have been successful in implementing smart & safe city projects across India and we plan to take this offering to a global level.

Apart from that, our industry 4.0 solutions are really gaining momentum and we want to focus on enhancing our Industry 4.0 solutions for the manufacturing customers and even for customers in the Oil and Gas vertical. Lastly, we will be working towards upgrades in the automotive industry.

We have been successful in implementing smart & safe city projects across India and we plan to take this offering to a global level.

Voice&Data: What would be the future of IoT coupled with 5G?

Karthikeyan: The IoT world will come alive with 5G. We will see a shift from Wi-Fi to LTE, to 5G hotspots and then to full-blown 5G. As a result, we will witness the emergence of use cases across sectors – be it Health-care, Automotive or Manufacturing. With benefits like increased bandwidth and lower latency, 5G can help in real-time monitoring, quality improvement and logistics with mobile edge computing in smart factories. In smart cities, 5G can help in enhancing the overall quality of life through a multi-modal transport system and intelligent traffic systems through Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) infrastructure.

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