The Application of IoT Technology

IoT has been around for over 30 years. Recently however, we have begun to see new applications for this technology, which we unpacked with Shaun Stewart, the VP of Product at Infogrid, on Episode 11 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast. He talked us through his decade of experience in the area and shared his insights on the future application of IoT technology. Here’s what he said on the topic:

What’s your take on the current state of the IoT industry? 

In IoT broadly, there’s a lot of exciting stuff happening. Every industry goes through the initial hype cycle, and then things get oversold and people get disappointed. When the technology starts maturing, that’s when you see the most promise. That’s where we are now. 10 years ago there was a lot of promise in this industry, but not a lot of delivery. There were a lot of great ideas that are only just now being realised as the technology stacks mature alongside industry standards. 

As someone who’s been in the industry for a long time, I’ve been through a whole process and evolution with IoT. Now the industry feels a lot more mature than it did when I first started to get into it. There are more agreed upon standards and more mature tech stacks. Everyone’s so much more mature in the industry, they can move faster and innovate quicker. People understand the use cases a lot more. Overall, I think where we’re at today is really exciting. And we’re finally starting to realise our goals in a scalable way. 

We’re on the cusp of IoT crossing over into other industries and niches within the industry, such as process engineering, major asset protection and management etc. There’s a huge range of applications that we’re just on the cusp of, with IoT now becoming much more widespread.

Where would you say the biggest use cases for IoT are?

IoT can be applied to any interaction between the physical and digital world. Think smart cities, smart buildings, smart infrastructure… Here in New York City there’s been a lot of incremental gains over the years in our transportation infrastructure. Bringing IoT into our transportation infrastructure and making that data available will make it easier to see where a bus is, where a train is, where the metro is. IoT will improve accuracy within those systems. We’re going to see an improvement in infrastructure that’s not necessarily connected but it is smart. That’s an area where – particularly in the urban landscape – you’re going to continue to see new applications for IoT in terms of making devices smart, and then creating an urban mesh network of all these devices. 

To learn more about the applications of IoT technology, tune into Episode 11 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Tackling Talent Challenges in the Cyber Security Sector

As recruiters, we’re often faced with a number of challenges when it comes to sourcing talent in the cyber security sector. On Episode 18 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we spoke to Jake Bernardes, the CTO for Whistic, about his perspectives on the topic. Here are his insights: 

The reality is that there never has been a skill shortage in cyber security. That is completely fake news. The problems are actually between the hiring manager or hiring team and the candidate. And those issues are extensive. Let’s start with the kind of person that the hiring manager wants. Do they know what the key skills are that that person needs to have? Secondly, people are very bad at writing job descriptions. The next problem is that once you’ve written the job description it gets translated to a job ad. 

We all rely on recruitment in our business. Usually HR are filling in for recruitment functions, and they don’t understand what I’ve told them they’re hiring for. Do they know what I’ve actually asked for? Are they translating something which doesn’t make any sense? Are they adding things because they are standard requests, like ‘must be college or university educated’, ‘must have this qualification’ etc, when I actually don’t care as a hiring manager? The problem is when that person HR misinterprets my request and does not put the right spin on it when it goes out to market. 

There are then two more problems in that situation. Firstly, that description doesn’t make a lot of sense, and secondly it’s not focussing on the right keywords. We’re often having issues with the salary as well, because this is a high-paid field. We’re going out to recruiters who can’t fulfil a role where the requirements don’t make sense and the salary doesn’t work. It’s impossible to find someone that doesn’t exist, so it creates the illusion of a talent shortage.  

The flip side is that I don’t have a shortage of candidates. What I have is an inability to screen candidates properly because everyone has realised that there’s money in cyber so they’ve made their resume cyber orientated. If HR does the screening, they don’t have the competence to know what is or isn’t relevant. They often miss potential gems because the resumes are quite simple but have one really interesting line at the bottom. They just go and find an SRE or cybersecurity analyst. HR puts on a layer of nonsense that they think makes sense, including a salary banding which is completely unrealistic, then throws it to recruiters and hopes that they can turn carbon into diamonds. 

Our industry is a weird one. There are so many people who are very good, but on paper they shouldn’t be good. On paper they should never have even been in the interview. Standard education and experience doesn’t allow me to spot the people who are going to excel, but people’s passion projects do. And so I stand by my statement, there is no skill shortage here. There is a fundamental disconnect and a poor process between cybersecurity leaders and the candidates who are applying. Everything in between those two dots is broken currently.

To learn more about the talent challenges in the Cyber Security sector, tune into The Cyber Security Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Investing in the European Space Market

The European space market has been growing over the past few years, leading to an increase in investments from a number of firms. On Episode 17 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were joined by Árisz Kecskés, who is the Business Development Manager at Remred and Investment Manager at Herius Capital, the latter of which is one of the very few space-focused venture capital firms investing in startups in the European Space ecosystem. Árisz shared his insights into the European space market, including the opportunities he sees for other investors in the sector. Read on to learn more!

Where would you recommend investing in the European space market? 

The valuation landscape in Western Europe is very different from how companies are valued in the Central Eastern European region. The trick is to find these ‘rough diamond’ companies and support them throughout their development stages. If you’re looking for early stage startups, there are a lot of good companies in the Central Eastern European region, whereas Western European countries are typically in further stages. 

What you see on the market is a different approach to the industry itself. Something that we’ve noticed is that  the Central Eastern European region was more research oriented, which is tied into the heritage of how the space industry has evolved in those countries. Their transition into the industrialised space was a bit more difficult, which is understandable. So it depends what you want to invest in, but there’s lots of great companies out there. 

What future opportunities do you see for the space sector across Europe?

It depends on how risk averse someone is. I would say that a key opportunity lies in the Earth Observation market, which is seeing a lot of growth. There is still a lot of growth that can be seen in some upstream markets such as debris, and the inordinate servicing market is something that we’re very closely monitoring too. They do pose a lot of risks, but we see a lot of initiatives and enabling technologies that make that segment very interesting to look at. I’m not sure if investing in these technologies is something that we would do as an early stage investor, but it’s definitely something that I see a lot of growth opportunities in.

To learn more about Árisz’s work and other aspects of the European Space Market, tune into the full episode of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Humanitarian Applications of Satellite Technology

On Episode 16 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Anastasia Kuzmenko, the VP of Marketing & Communications at the IEC Telecom Group, about the cutting-edge technology that they are developing in the satellite space. She shared how their satellite technology can be applied to various verticals, including the maritime and humanitarian sectors. Read on to hear more!

What does the industry need to do to ensure that there is an increased focus on the success of humanitarian applications for satellite technology?

When it comes to use cases, increasingly specialised softwares and optimised applications would allow humanitarian missions to carry out their operations in the remote areas. Imagine a situation where we are in a remote settlement, where there is no bank infrastructure, no hospitals, etc. One of the latest use cases in the humanitarian industry was the launch of mobile units that could deliver services to those kinds of settlements on a certain schedule. This is where we need to think outside of the box and ask what else can be there? 

I can imagine specialised stations or applications which would help to bring more educational opportunities to those remote communities. We can even provide entertainment. A lot of social development or social integration happens through the arts. Being part of the wider culture, being able to see movies and documentaries – to be part of this social world in general – is exceptionally important. The humanitarian field in general should utilise the capacities of satellite telecommunication in order to power different digital applications and bring those skills to the remote areas.

What do you think we can do to focus the technology and help close this divide? 

We definitely need to look at satellite solutions as systems. The fact that we have LEO networks which provide high speed and low latency is very important. However, it’s not enough to deliver impactful solutions on the ground. The humanitarian solutions represent a complex architecture, where you would have the terminal, the backup, and then a range of services catered to a specific need. 

When we are out in the wild with those remote communities, we can’t just rely on one terminal to deliver the connectivity and services we need. We have to  consider the fact that any satellite telecommunication is vulnerable to external factors, whether it’s a weather condition, geographical landscape or other obstacles. In order for those applications on the ground to run continuously, we need to have a system where there will be a main link and a backup. We need continuous connectivity. But what do we do with this connectivity? This is where it’s important to have network management tools which will allow us to control the quality of the network and make sure it’s utilised in the most efficient way. 

Next we should consider the value added services. How do we want to filter this network? How do we want to optimise the bandwidth of this work network? How do we distribute these capacities? Solutions such as Expand are equipped by a network management system on a voucher capacity, which means that if you set up this kind of system in the humanitarian camp we could issue individual vouchers to the inhabitants. The same way we distribute food, we can distribute connectivity. 

What really matters when it comes to satellite technologies within the humanitarian field is to have a clear understanding, not just of the capacity, but also of the functionality or the operator. It’s about delivering complex solutions that are specifically designed to solve a specific issue. It will equip all the  necessary tools to run smoothly and ensure operational continuity throughout the exploitation.

To learn more about using satellite technology for humanitarian purposes, tune into Episode 16 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The State of the Content & Media Industry 

On Episode 19 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by Alan McLennan, the Founder and Global Head of M&E, Industry Strategy and Partnership at the PADEM Media Group. He talked us through his fascinating career in the content and media space, as well as his experience of co-authoring a book. He also shared his perspectives on the state of the content and media industry as a whole and told us what he sees for the future of the sector. Read on to hear what he had to say. 

We’ve unfortunately tipped into a marketplace that is now in television management. That is an inherently comfortable place for most networks and studios because it’s not what it was before. It used to be about the innovation of technology and the connection to the audience. Now it’s stepped back. Streaming television is an important aspect of building an audience. But it’s television. It’s what it always has been. Now it just so happens that you get a choice of what you want to watch, with attached advertising that matches your personality, your behaviour, your information etc, which is much more engaging than it used to be. 

The old statement about 50% of my advertising goes in and 50% doesn’t isn’t true anymore, because we have these identifiable points now.  That allows us to grow into lower social economic environments, and that’s really good. But there is a certain component of this that has a separation of classes. We’re starting to realise in the industry that subscription levels have pretty much levelled off, except in new markets where there’s new subscriber bases. As more countries around the world have enough disposable income to pay for our subscriptions, we’re expanding our markets. We’re able to offer up the second year, or even third year kind of programming on a fast basis. 

What’s driving the industry globally is the ability to tap into the creators that are in this economy. When it comes to production, those creators are producing and providing some of the best programming and content that we’ve ever seen. Before, when you went to gatherings, parties, whatever, people would talk about news or politics. Now it’s ‘What series are you watching?’ That’s where the quality of our work comes in. The first run is for theatrical releases, then it’s aimed towards people who can afford a subscription based programme. We’ve taken a number of steps forward, but we’ve also taken some steps back when it comes to our audiences. By taking those steps back, it puts the industry in a more comfortable position with their business through advertising and audience reach – and that’s good – but where the opportunity comes is from new distribution platforms. 

We’ve seen some things from the cable industries – or Comcast for example, who are talking about 10G. What about 5G? Didn’t that just come out? 5G is the fifth generation of distribution, not the technology. It’s the efficiency of that which is mind boggling. It’s 100 times faster and more powerful than 4G, so how powerful is 10G going to be? That’s going to require whole new infrastructures to support the capabilities it brings, which will need new types of distribution. Things like Edge Computers, cable plants, and providers will have to be built out. That is where we’re going. 

To learn more about the future of the industry, tune into The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.