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LG Innotek offers the future of retail IoT solution

By IoT – Internet of Things

LG Innotek recently announced it will participate in ‘NRF Retail’s Big Show 2018′ (NRF 2018) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 14 to 16. NRF 2018 is the one of the biggest retail trade fairs and it receives participants from 500 distribution companies and about 95 countries around […]

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CEBIT puts the spotlight on IT security and data security

By Zenobia Hegde

CEBIT‘s approach resonates with current industry thinking. For example, in its most recent report on the state of IT security in Germany, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) described data security as “the cornerstone of successful digitisation”.

Moreover, some 95% of the IT experts and IT security specialists surveyed in a recent study by Germany’s National Initiative for Information and Internet Security (NIFIS) anticipate that 2018 will be characterised by a growing awareness of data protection and security issues. However, one of the problems with IT security is that many users just don’t have the necessary skills or expertise.

A recent survey by German IT association Bitkom notes that, while 88% of computer owners make some effort to secure their machines, only about a third are confident they have the technical know-how needed to do so effectively.

Against this background, CEBIT’s role is to educate, inform and help with the implementation of suitable security measures. For security managers and IT professionals from large and mid-size enterprises as well as directors and IT users from small firms and startups, CEBIT is an opportunity to learn what tools and strategies they need in order to detect cyberattacks and what support is available for setting up IT security systems.

CEBIT has forums where experts will present on current best practice and insights in the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There will also be presentation events on efficient and cost-effective IT security solutions specifically for SMEs.

CEBIT’s IT Security display will be even bigger in 2018, occupying two halls (12 and 13) for the first time. As well as an exhibition zone, it will feature several speaking stages where, every day of the show, experts will discuss key issues in IT security from multiple perspectives, ranging from hands-on practical to out-of-the-box visionary.

The Expert Stages in halls 12 and 13 have a diverse program that includes security showcases and presentations on individual security technologies. The topics and issues up for discussion here include IT security for fintech companies and the security implications of IoT and AI. Among the highlights will be a series of lectures on employee awareness of security issues in relation to the use of company data and devices. These lectures are designed to provide practical information that visitors can use to improve their IT security.

Mikko Hypponen

One of the big-name speakers on stage will be the penetration tester and IT security expert Sebastian Schreiber, who will report on how hackers work and how he, as a white-hat hacker, goes about exposing security vulnerabilities. Schreiber’s vision of the future is not altogether reassuring: “The more we use IT systems, the more we become dependent on them. Eventually our planet will be run by an almighty IT system – which will be open to manipulation and abuse by hackers from around the world.”

Meanwhile, the focus on Centre Stage in Hall 12 will be on new and emerging online threats. Among much else, the discussion here will focus on Europe’s cybersecurity strategy and the […]

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New research shows industrial organisations increasingly focused on IoT adoption, but most are still in early stages

By Zenobia Hedge

Bsquare, a provider of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions, released the findings of its first annual IIoT Maturity Study. This explores the current IoT adoption progress of business buyers in Manufacturing, Transportation, and Oil and Gas (O&G).

According to the 2017 study, 86% of industrial organisations are currently adopting IoT solutions and 84% believe those solutions are very or extremely effective. In addition, 95% believe that IoT has a significant or tremendous impact on their industry. However, the study also shows that most IIoT investments are focused on connectivity (78%) and data visualisation (83%). In addition, only 48% are doing advanced analytics on that data and only a small number (28%) are automating the application of insights derived from analytics.

“Our study shows that while industrial organisations have enthusiastically adopted IIoT, a majority have not yet moved to more advanced analytics-driven orchestration of data insights,” said Kevin Walsh, vice president of marketing at Bsquare.

“These later stages of IIoT maturity—analytics, orchestration and true edge computing—tend to be where most of the ROI is realised. This is especially important because, according to our study, the number one reason cited for IIoT adoption is cost reduction.”

Bsquare’s 2017 Annual IIoT Maturity Study was conducted in the United States in August 2017, and reached more than 300 respondents at companies with annual revenues in excess of $250 million (€214.53 million). Participants were evenly divided among three industry groups (Manufacturing, Transportation, and O&G) and titles covered a wide spectrum of senior-level personnel with operational responsibilities, most of whom had spent an average of six years in their organisations.

Key highlights from the report include:

The vast majority (86%) of organisations are deploying IIoT solutions, led by Construction/Transportation (93%) and followed by O&G (89%) and Manufacturing (77%).
Nearly two-thirds (73%) of all businesses plan to increase their IoT investments over the next 12 months, despite almost every respondent acknowledging that IoT deployments are complex.
Nine out of 10 decision-makers feel it is very or somewhat important for their organisation to adopt IoT solutions. And 95% perceive IoT as having either a significant or tremendous impact on their industry at a global level.
Industrial organisations are using IoT most frequently for device connectivity and data forwarding (78%), real-time monitoring (56%), and advanced data analytics (48%). More mature uses of IoT, such as automation and enhanced on-board intelligence, are also prevalent in industrial settings.

Kevin Walsh

More than 90% of IIoT adopters cite device-health as the primary reason for IoT adoption followed by logistics (67%), reducing operating costs (24%) and increasing production volume (18%).
More than half of organisations are using annual subscription models for their IIoT solutions, and 77% use a cloud-based model. Amazon and Microsoft were tied (14%) for the preferred cloud service provider.

The IoT Maturity Index outlines the stages commonly associated with Industrial IoT technology adoption. Each phase typically builds on the previous one, allowing organisations to drive maximum value as they progress through the index.

The stages include:

Device connectivity – on-board logic to collect data and transmit to cloud databases
Data monitoring – dashboard and […]

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Amazon Echo & Google Home to reside in over 50% of US households by 2022, as multi-assistant devices take off

By Zenobia Hedge

A new study from Juniper Research has found that smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the Sonos One will be installed in over 70 million US households by 2022, reaching 55% of all homes. Total installed devices will exceed 175 million.

Juniper forecasts that Voice Assistant devices across all platforms – smartphones, tablets, PCs, speakers, connected TVs, cars and wearables, will reach 870 million devices in the US by 2022, an increase of 95% over the 450 million estimated for 2017.

For more insights, download Juniper’s complimentary whitepaper: Voice Assistants – The Next Advertising Battleground.

Omni-platform assistants & multi-assistant platforms to proliferate

The new research, Digital Voice Assistants: Platforms, Revenues & Opportunities 2017-2022, found that the ability to pass information between device platforms will become critical for digital assistants in future, due to many users engaging multiple assistants.

However, despite rising numbers of smart home assistants, Juniper forecasts that most voice assistant usage will be on smartphones, with over 5 billion in use globally by 2022.

The research found a growing trend for devices with multiple assistants (eg, Google Assistant and Cortana being available on the same speaker). The current experience with multi-assistant devices is unwieldy, and Juniper argues that hardware and software vendors need to make cross-assistant usage smoother and more intuitive.

Voice assistant ad-spend to reach $19 billon by 2022

The research notes that end-user monetisation is uncertain for digital voice assistants, with most either provided for free or only charging developers for language processing.

Juniper believes that advertising is the biggest revenue opportunity for voice assistants, forecasting ad-spend to reach nearly $19 billion (€16.38 billion) globally by 2022; although it is not without pitfalls:

“Voice-based interaction presents less options than other forms of advertising, meaning less adverts are possible”, notes research author James Moar. “Not all voice interactions are product searches, meaning advertisers will need to adjust their strategies to build a brand’s voice strategy around information provision as well as sales.”

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

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Seven out of 10 European IT decision-makers see Brexit as a business opportunity

By Zenobia Hedge

Interoute, a global cloud and network provider, has revealed new survey results showing almost two-thirds (63%) of businesses across Europe are anticipating high growth in the year ahead.

Despite its turbulent outlook, the UK was only slightly behind the European average at 61%. As the political climate presents opportunities for those countries and companies that can move at pace, on average 70% believed Britain leaving the EU was an opportunity for their company.

In the survey of more than 800 European IT decision-makers, business confidence surrounding Britain leaving the EU was highest in France (83%) and Belgium (78%) but lowest in Sweden (49%). While the outlook surrounding Brexit was generally positive across Europe, 63% of IT leaders anticipate it could ultimately result in the disintegration of the EU. In Germany (78%), France (70%) and Italy (66%) this belief was significantly stronger.

Given the changing political climate, 95% admitted Brexit specifically had impacted their decision-making process. While, 96% said the overall current political uncertainty in Europe (e.g. US and Russian foreign policy) had impacted their decision-making. As organisations have been forced to respond to the changing business landscape, the majority of IT leaders have shifted their infrastructure choices to focus on driving more agility. In total, three in five European organisations (61%) are pursuing new digital transformation projects. The UK follows closely behind the European average with 60% of IT decision-makers investing in technology that allows them to continuously innovate and maintain a competitive edge.

Matthew Finnie

Across Europe, the top drivers for digital transformation projects were cited as reducing costs by improving operations (46%), enhancing the employee experience through more mobile and social capabilities (45%) and improving the customer experience (41%). However, in the UK, enhancing the employee experience emerges as the top priority for nearly half of the companies (45%), which may indicate a desire to improve employee productivity and create great customer experiences.

Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, commented, “The UK and mainland Europe is in the middle of a period of political uncertainly, which is impacting IT decision makers across all sectors. The more ambitious organisations see this as a time of opportunity where the right technology investments will result in high growth and an enhanced experience for employees and customers alike. Changing foreign policy politics, Brexit and even new GDPR regulations are forcing organisations to review the legal, financial and operational aspects of their business.

Digital transformation is about creating an organisation that is flexible enough to respond to market and geopolitical changes. Organisations that move now to ensure they have the right digital infrastructure foundation in place will undoubtedly be the best placed to succeed in these uncertain times.”

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