When talking about IoT, one question that keeps coming back is “Whether India has reached the desired destination or still a long journey to go?” Suresh Dantam, vice president – technology of Techsys IoT Labs talks at length about the Indian IoT industry, what to expect, what not to and a lot more.

Q) In your opinion, which are the top 3 technologies that are shaping the future of IoT? How are they influencing the future of IoT?
In my view, one of the upcoming areas will be WiFi connectivity. As 5G would be rolled out very soon, there is going to be a tough competition in WiFi Technology area.

Big heads of electronics firms are expecting a shift from the data server support with cloud management tools towards decentralization with individual router or upgrade routers with data storage capability. It will save cloud maintenance expenses and  avoid data transfer for mini or small network to move faster in local deployment approach. 

More and more edge nodes are expected to have R&D support, and it should nurture into a more accurate product as well as testing of the same thing.

Q) Between the cellular and NB-IOT/LPWA families of wireless technologies–which one are you betting upon? Why?
As cellular technology has already taken a big leap in terms of development and deployment in India, there are fair chances of big companies leading the way in cellular technology.

Q) How’s the development of standards (or lack of it) affecting the adoption of IoT?
This is one area where people are expecting to standardize the products or services of various firms. As many people/firms are coming out with standards without proper planning, it is turning into a more complex situation. The need of the hour is that big heads should come ahead to define minimum required standards for the IoT area.

Q) How ready is India’s tech eco-system to develop and deploy IoT solutions?
The IoT industry is picking up slowly and will gain momentum once the 5G deployment reaches the consumer. As there are very few people who are actively doing the work in IoT, one of the areas of big concern is developing the required technical competent sources.

Q) Do you foresee India’s tech industry developing its own IP and branded products/solutions in the IOT arena?
In my view, as the industry is yet to pick up momentum, the academic professionals and industry aspirants must be encouraged to come forward and take the opportunity. Other developed nations have already ventured in this area and taken a big advantage of it. 

Q) Do you see the Open Source phenomenon play an important role in the IOT arena?
Yes, the open source community philosophy is already accepted by many people. Going forward, the technology is expected to get more advanced and play a heavy role in the industry. 

Q) What role do you see technologies like AI/ML playing in the evolution of IoT solutions?
AI/ML will depend more on the IoT, as these technologies are expected to pump more data into their networks. AI and ML developers are finding it more challenging to handle the big data that is coming out of the IoT edge nodes.

Q) What’s your opinion on the state of security available for IoT solutions? How do you see the evolution from hereon w.r.t threats and counter-measures?
As the IoT technology itself is in its infancy, we do not see many security threats at present. However, the situation may change in the coming days. As financial support and technology deployment increases day by day, security is going to be one of the big branches that will emerge in the near future. In addition, financial support is expected to rise in the cybersecurity environment.  

Q) W.r.t. edge vs cloud – where do you think will we see faster development in the next year or two?
Cloud took a big leap sometime back, but now it is getting slower. More heterogeneous development will be happening at the edge node side in the coming days.

Q) What are the key technologies missing, which when made available, will accelerate the adoption of IoT across the globe?
We need to have more diagnostic and troubleshooting tools to be able to win confidence of the customers. It will also give a boost to the IoT industry.

Q) Any thoughts on where to go edge versus where to go cloud?
Edge computing must be improved fast, and better quality should be reached in that area, as compared to the cloud.

Baishakhi Dutta

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