The Digital Revolution starts in the head!

Digital Revolution

Digitalization in business means much more than just the introduction of new technologies or business models. In the meantime, many companies have come to the conclusion that digitization not only means the implementation of new processes and the use of state-of-the-art technologies but also requires strategic thinking models.


The success of digitization poses many challenges for many companies. The digital transformation of individual processes and areas in order to survive and compete in a digital competition with other companies is often the digital alternative to inactivity and postponing. One thing should be clear to everyone: inactivity and be postponing is not an option. However, the mistake should not be made to regard digitization as just a new technological approach. It is more promising to understand digitization as a cultural change and to transport it to all employees in order to enable a holistic implementation.


According to a recent study by McKinsey, the services of digital transformation have yet to become fully mainstream. On average, industries are less than 40% digitized, despite the deep penetration of these technologies in media, retail, and high tech, healthcare. Results show that some companies have now drawn their conclusions from their first digital failures. The biggest mistake that has emerged is the lack of cultural change in companies. Added to this are the frequently existing silo structures and inadequate digital strategies or even a lack of understanding by employees for digital trends. At the beginning of their digitization strategy, many companies ask the questions: ‘What does digitization mean for our business?’, ‘How digital is our company already?’, ‘What potential exists for our industry?’, ‘What will the ROI of these digital revolution’?


Businesses need to define what digital maturity they already have and how much existing staff can handle and implement the challenges they’ll face. The best employees to successfully realize a digital transformation are not necessarily the most technically skilled IT people. It is important that those involved in strategic planning, in addition to a mature digital competence, also have the will and a corresponding perseverance to identify with the relevant issues, to drive them forward and persist even on dry spells and not give up immediately. Also, we must not ignore the outstanding role of CEO in driving the digital-transformation process. The process needs to start from the top. Companies need to change structures. The only one who can do it is the CEO. He/She needs to embrace the topic and make it a priority. He/She needs to consistently communicate to the organization, act decisively, empower people who help drive the transformation and also sideline people who are in the way. Very important point is that there is no return ticket, and this is what a CEO needs to radiate.


If appropriate, companies should designate a strategic digital team from different areas. The appointment of such a team should also involve neutral, non-industry ‘digital talents’. These bring an extraordinary and new – mostly external – perspective for the company and can significantly contribute to the success of digitization.


The most successful teams see the transformation that digitization requires as an opportunity and a challenge. They enjoy developing new things for internal and external customers and are driven by their affinity to new and especially digital topics. It’s clear the impact of these revolutions will bring profound changes in many areas, including the localization of production, impacts on global trade, the nature of the workforce of the future, and the distribution of wealth. While the good news is that these changes will play out over years and decades, the bad news is that they require deep and fundamental changes in companies. While some of the projects are certainly overestimated in the short term, the long-term impact has most certainly been underestimated.


For a successful digital implementation in companies is not necessary to assign these tasks from the very top level and to put themselves on hold. Rather, it is necessary to ‘digitize’ the corporate culture, so that the implementation can be supported by the entire workforce. Digitization should not be transferred purely to specialist areas but should be thought through from the very top, planned and, above all, exemplified. Also, to successfully navigate a path through the array of strategic challenges and options, companies must separate hype from reality and come to grips with how technological change affects companies. Only then can they consider what must be done and how to go about it.

Smart Cities – Privacy, Security, #CyberAttacks and #DataProtection

Smart city components

“Smart cities” is a buzzword of the moment. There is currently no single accepted definition of a “smart city” and much depends on who is supplying the characteristics: industry, politicians, civil society and citizens/users are four immediately and obviously disparate sets of stakeholders. It is easier perhaps not to define smart cities but to elaborate their key features in orser to better understand this concept. The connecting key infrastructure that is most often mentioned as making cities “smart” includes:


  • networks of sensors attached to real-world objects such as roads, cars, fridge, electricity meters, domestic appliances and human medical implants which connect these objects (=IOT) to digital networks. These IoT networks generate data in particularly huge amounts known as “big data”.
  • networks of digital communications enabling real-time data streams which can be combined with each other and then be mined and repurposed for useful results;
  • high capacity, often cloud-based, infrastructure which can support and provide storage for this interconnection of data, applications, things, and people.


Scanning through numerous smart city projects and initiatives undertook, eight key activities can be identified that often define a smart city, ie: smart governance, smart infrastructure, smart building, smart connectivity, smart healthcare, smart energy, smart mobility and smart citizens.


A European survey shows that the benefits of smart cities are obvious, but IT security and technological challenges are a major barrier to their acceptance. Ruckus, a network connectivity provider, has published the results of its Smart Cities Survey with UK market research firm, Atomik Research. The survey surveyed 380 European IT decision-makers from the public sector.


The aim of the study is to understand the attitudes towards the implementation of smart city concepts and to learn what opportunities they offer to the industry. The majority of respondents (82%) believe that smart city technologies are helping to increase citizens’ security and reduce crime rates, for example via smart lighting or networked surveillance cameras. Although the benefits seem to be well known, fears of cyber attacks are a major barrier to the Smart City. For 58% of the IT decision makers surveyed, the biggest problem is followed by a lack of technology infrastructure and funding.


Benefits of citywide connectivity


The survey results show that the infrastructure and technology platforms created for Smart Cities could be used to add significant value to the public sector and to develop innovative applications that directly address citizens’ needs. Other areas that benefit from the smart city model include local health (81%) and transport (81%), which provide greater access to public services for citizens through extensive networking. According to IT decision-makers, smart city concepts also provide crucial benefits for the security of citizens (72%), public transport (62%) and the health service (60%).

Nick Watson, vice president of EMEA at Ruckus, said: “A basic understanding of the benefits to citizens shows that policymakers are aware of the benefits of this technology. As the return on investment becomes clearer and smart cities become more and more commonplace, targeted advocacy will allow organizations to work together to make the city of the future a reality. Of course, given the amount of sensitive data that could be divulged, it is not surprising that security concerns play a big role. Only a           secure, robust and reliable network will allow to address these concerns and create a secure foundation for smart cities. “


Benefits of smart cities


The survey shows that the public sector is well aware of the added value that smart cities has to offer. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said smart cities bring benefits. 78% of respondents said that they recognize that there are strong economic reasons for investing in smart city concepts. These reasons include firstly the credibility of a smart city (20%) and future infrastructure (19%). On the other hand, there is the related attractiveness, which leads to the resettlement of companies (18%) and suggests that the true value of smart cities lies in generating revenue and boosting the local economy.

These findings are a positive step towards ideal framework conditions in which smart cities can successfully develop. To make smart cities a reality across Europe, it takes an overarching approach involving all departments of a city. However, the Ruckus survey also found that isolated projects (39%) still pose a major barrier to smart cities.

Although lack of funding is seen as the third most obstacles to rapid implementation, 78% of respondents across countries expect to have the budget for smart city solutions by 2019. This should also be facilitated by promotional announcements such as the Wifi4EU program. It gives cities the security that the infrastructure will be available to support smart technologies.


Overcome barriers


To provide these services, a stable public WiFi network is crucial. 76% of respondents agree that this is the most important factor in successfully implementing smart city concepts. 34% agree that Wi-Fi is more important than a wired network. Wi-Fi is probably the preferred infrastructure because people are familiar with it and it gives everyone access to information. If you want to be able to connect with your citizens and use the services you offer more effectively, you need a suitable infrastructure to connect with the public in a way that benefits them.

WLAN is the “glue” for intelligent cities’ network. It makes it easier to distribute the load and reduces connection problems. The access point at the edge of the network is the ideal interface that acts as a message broker by delivering traffic, performing and returning simple data processing, and placing the software through controllers.

However, not all WLAN technologies are the same. Power supply (53%), interference (52%) and backhauls (45%) are the biggest obstacles to setting up a public WLAN infrastructure. 51% of IT decision makers called the consolidation of existing networks as another crucial obstacle. This is particularly important because the number of connected devices is increasing at a time when existing networks are not prepared for the exponential growth of data consumption. IT decision makers have the clear task of choosing the right technology partner to meet the technological needs of their city.

For Ruckus, the findings of this study are an opportunity to engage in dialogue with various public-sector organizations on how smart city technologies and a public Wi-Fi network can add value. The survey shows that WLAN is considered necessary for the creation of smart cities because:

  • It gives access to everyone information (71%);
  • it delivers the necessary infrastructure to offer additional services (70%);
  • it overcomes the digital divide between citizens (67 percent);
  • it is cheaper for governments (61%);
  • it could lead to better service (37%);

The research shows that Wi-Fi is a key contributor to helping smart cities deliver reliably and sustainably, but along the way, European policymakers still have some obstacles to overcome. It is reassuring to see that there is a widespread belief that smart cities add value to society. But if the government and the public sector are not investing in the right technology, then they risk missing the numerous opportunities for cities, citizens and themselves.

Survey : Is #CyberSecurity just a discussion topic or a Top Priority?

A Fortinet survey reveals that #CyberSecurity isn’t a top management priority for nearly half of IT decision makers. Respondents believe that the shift to the cloud as part of the company-wide digital transformation will focus more on security.


Fortinet announced the results of its new Global Enterprise Security Survey on corporate enterprise security. The survey results show that despite spectacular cyberattacks, nearly half of IT professionals in companies with over 250 employees complain that cybersecurity board members do not give them enough priority or attention. At the same time, however, many IT experts expect the topic of security to become more important as a result of the shift to the cloud as part of the digital transformation within the company.


Focus on Cybersecurity


Christian Vogt, Fortinet’s Senior Regional Director, said: “Over the years, we’ve seen companies invest more in cybersecurity and more senior executives see it as part of the overall IT strategy. With digital transformation in business and adoption of technologies like the cloud, cybersecurity is no longer just an IT investment, but a strategic business decision”.



In today’s digital economy, the issue of security, for more and more corporate management, must be a high priority in the basic handling of risks. Only such risk management strategy can better position companies to successfully master their digital transformation.


Main results of the survey



Is Cybersecurity an investment


  • 48% of IT decision makers confirm that Cybersecurity is still not one of the top priorities of senior management. However, this isn’t really reflected in the budgets.
  • 61% of companies said they spend over 10% of their IT budget on security, which is considered as a high investment.
  • 71% of respondents said that their IT security budget had risen compared to the previous year.
  • 77% of respondents want the cybersecurity board to better test IT security. IT decision makers are firmly convinced that cybersecurity should be given high priority by management.


Main reasons why cybersecurity is becoming a top priority


The strongest impact on IT investment decisions is the need for ongoing improvements to the IT security infrastructure, which 77% of respondents, IT decision-makers, identified as an important factor.


cybersecurity a priority


  • In the last two years, 85% of the surveyed companies reported an increase in security breaches and global cyber attacks. The most common attack vectors were malware and ransomware and data breach: 47% of respondents said they had experienced such an attack before.
  • 49% of IT decision makers reported a stronger focus on IT security after cyber attacks around the world, such as #WannaCry. With the scale and nature of global cyber-attacks, corporate leaders are increasingly concerned with security. Therefore, security is no longer just a discussion topic in the IT department.
  • 34% of respondents affirmed increasing regulation, such as #GDPR for European data, as another major reason for the growing awareness of security at the highest level.
  • Conversion to the Cloud Affects Security Priorities. By integrating the cloud as part of the digital transformation within the company, 74% of IT decision makers believe that cloud security is becoming a priority.
  • 77% of the respondents are convinced that cloud security – together with corresponding investments in security – is becoming increasingly important to the board.
  • As a result, half of the respondents (50%) want to invest in cloud security within the next twelve months.


About Survey:


The Fortinet Global Enterprise Security Survey 2017 was done by Fortinet in July and August 2017 to investigate companies’ attitudes towards security issues. The global study inquired IT decision makers with responsibility or insight into IT security. A total of 1,801 participants from 16 countries (USA, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Middle East, South Africa, Poland, Korea, Australia, Singapore, India, Hong Kong and Indonesia) anonymously participated in the survey.


Additional Resources


NB-IoT: Narrowband Internet Of Things with a wide range of Applications

With the growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the need for transmission paths and techniques is also increasing. Recently discovered, Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a standard-based low power wide area (LPWA) technology developed to connect a wide range of new IoT devices and services. NB-IoT significantly improves the power consumption of user devices, thus the “things” can send/receive data without establishing a default bearer.


This new concept has enabled IoT infrastructures to have the battery life of sensors increased to up to 10 years. Especially true for sensors used in remote areas and without power. Prime example: weather sensors in agriculture – they are predestined for the use of low-consumption, battery-powered Narrowband IoT modules. In a typical broadcasting behavior, these usually last around ten years with two standard AA batteries. Or smart metering: gas and water meters are usually installed in basements where dead spots can occur better mobile radio reception. In addition to battery life, NB-IoT network also provides adequate reception throughout the building, creating the prerequisite for reliable meter reading from a distance.


Standardized Radio Technology


NB-IoT is part of the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) and was developed as standard by the 3GPP co-operation, a worldwide collaboration of standardization committees for mobile communications. NB-IoT ensures interference-free reception in buildings and enables low-cost and area-wide networking of devices with low energy requirements, with a range of more than ten kilometers. The data transfer rate is up to 250 kbps, with a bandwidth of 180 kHz. Most NB-IoT modules transmit only once an hour or daily smaller data packets.

The advantages of NB-IoT over other LPWAN standards such as Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRa) are higher signal strength and scalability. NB-IoT enables a significantly greater number of connections per radio cell and transmits data directionally throughout. Also compared to the GSM standard, NB-IoT offers higher coverage and better building penetration. Analysts estimate that there will already be five billion LPWAN connections across the globe in five years.



Narrowband networks for Europe


Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone operate end-to-end networks throughout Europe for narrowband IoT communications on 800 and 900 MHz frequencies in operation. As for Deutsche Telekom, the national rollout in the Netherlands has already been completed. In Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Telekom is extending its existing NB-IoT supply to other cities. In Germany, a number of metropolitan regions are already connected – the area-wide expansion is to be completed by the end of 2018. In the other hand, Vodafone has announced their launch for Australia, New Zealand, and Germany.


NB-IoT in the field test

 Target industry for NB-IOT

The application possibilities for NB-IoT are not only limited to smart meters or the monitoring of forests, fields, and livestock in forest and agriculture. The use of NB-IoT also promises great benefits in container tracking and in the monitoring of gas tanks in transport and logistics as well as pallets and pipelines in the industry. In addition, energy service providers, for example, who use smart building solutions to collect and process consumption data – and motorists who save time and fuel with smart parking solutions, also gain practical advantages.

The city administration in Hamburg will digitize about 11,000 public and private parking lots and parking garages using NB-IoT technology in order to set up a smart parking solution. Sensors in the parking lots will communicate in real time via an app with the drivers, who are then briefed on the shortest route to the nearest free parking spot. The introduction of smart parking is also in the offing in other German cities. There, the driver should even be given the opportunity to reserve parking for a specific time in advance.

#GDPR: Does your Business comply with the new #DataProtection requirements?

Our data is one of our most prized asset. As an organisation, our clients entrust us with this data. In our vision data and its security must be critical for each operations, innovation and competitive position. As an enterprise, you can be more successful in your respective line of business when you manage to get your data security right.


Therefore, the EU’s GDPR brings data protection legislation into line with new, previously unforeseen ways that data is now used. This wide Basic Data Protection Act (EU-GDPR) can be very complex and opaque. IBM Security has developed a five-phase framework to help organizations implement the mandatory regulation from 2018 onwards.


In addition to that, IBM Security has also worked in the past to create a service that will help companies prepare for the upcoming GDPR. Instead of accessing complicated, multi-dimensional matrices or diagrams, a simple framework was compiled.


Step by Step GDPR


Each journey begins with the first step, and so IBM Security has also extracted five separate steps for the journey to GDPR’s expertise. This allows companies to fallow a step by step guidelines through the five, to the point, phase framework. The framework also takes account of the fact that each company will have its own needs during the process. Therefore, it is designed as simply as possible.


Based on the main focus of the GDPR, the five steps within the framework are subdivided into the areas of data protection and security. Since both areas are closely interwoven, IBM Security has selected the following area definitions for us: In the field of data protection everything is about what data is collected and why they are managed, shared, processed and moved around. Security, on the other hand, is much more concerned with how data can be controlled and protected. This also means that within a company, security can be achieved without data protection, but no data protection can be guaranteed without adhering to security standards.


The five-phase framework for the GDPR

IBM’s GDPR Framework


The approach for a basic GDPR expertise in five steps is the fallowing:


Phase 1: this first step is related to company assesses. It is necessary to examine which of the collected and stored data are affected by the GDPR guidelines. A plan is then drawn up to reveal this data.


Phase 2: is about the company’s own approach, a solid plan that governs the collection, use, and storage of data. This approach is based on the architecture and strategy on the basis of which risks and company objectives are exploited. Designing privacy, data management and security management are top priority.


Phase 3: the company’s way of doing are rethought. It is important to understand that the data gathered so far are as valuable to the people as they are to the company. At this point, sustainable data protection guidelines have to be developed. However, it is also about introducing safety controls and administrative controls (also: TOM – Technical and Organizational Measures) and appointing a Data Protection Officer so the GDPR training can be delivered to the right persons for the job.


Phase 4: in this phase, companies are ready to implement their data protection approach. Data streams are continuously checked from this phase, and access to data is monitored. In addition, security checks are performed and unimportant data is deleted.


Phase 5: the company is ready to comply with the GDPR guidelines. From then on, all requests for access, correction, deletion and transmission of data are met. In addition, by documenting all activities, the company is prepared for possible audits and can, in the case of a data lap, inform regulators and affected parties.


Above is the direct approach of IBM Security to make companies fit for GDPR. The way to get there is not always easy, but the framework should at least show it more clearly. Companies are themselves responsible for compliance with the applicable regulations and laws, which are included in the EU-GDPR. Note that IBM does not provide any legal advice and does not warrant that IBM’s services or products comply with applicable laws or regulations.

The #BigData Evolution and Revolution in 2017

biodata revolution evolution

Big data, a buzz word of overloaded information, gathers a set of technologies and practices for storing large amount of data and analyse in a blink of an eye. Nowadays, Big data is shaking our ways of doing business and the ability to manage and analyse this data depends on the competitiveness of companies and organisations. The phenomenon of Big Data is therefore considered one of the great IT challenges of the next decade.


4 major technological axes are at the heart of the digital transformation:


  • Mobile and Web: The fusion of the real and virtual worlds,
  • Cloud computing: The Web as a ubiquitous platform for services,
  • Big Data: The data revolution,
  • Social empowerment: The redistribution of roles.

Interconnected and feeding each other, these 4 axes are the foundations of digital transformation. Data, global or hyperlocal, enables the development of innovative products and services, especially through highly personalised social and mobile experiences. As such, data is the fuel of digital transformation.

The intelligent mobile terminals and the permanent connectivity form a platform for social exchanges emergence new methods of work and organisation. Social technologies connect people to each other, to their businesses and to the world, based on new relational models where power relations are profoundly altered. Finally, cloud computing makes it possible to develop and provide, in a transparent way, the information and services needed by users and companies.

According to Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, we are currently creating in two days as much information as we had created since the birth of civilisation until 2003. For companies, the challenge is to process and activate the available data in order to improve their competitiveness. In addition to the “classical” data already manipulated by companies and exploited by Business Intelligence techniques, there is now added informal data, essentially stemming from crowdsourcing, via social media, mobile terminals and, increasingly via the sensors integrated in the objects.


Why Big and why now?


3 factors explain the development of Big Data:

    • The cost of storage: the latter is constantly decreasing and is becoming less and less a relevant criterion for companies. Cloud computing solutions also allow for elastic data management and the actual needs of enterprises.
    • Distributed storage platforms and very high-speed networks: with the development of high speed network and cloud computing, the place of data storage is no longer really important. They are now stored in distinct, and sometimes unidentified, physical locations.
    • New technologies for data management and analysis: among these Big Data-related technological solutions, one of the references is the Hadoop platform (Apache Foundation) allowing the development and management of distributed applications addressing huge and scalable amounts of data.


These 3 factors combined tend to transform the management and storage of data into a “simple” service.


Sources of Data: 


To understand the phenomenon of Big Data, it is interesting to identify the sources of data production.


    • Professional applications and services: these are management software such as ERP, CRM, SCM, content and office automation tools or intranets, and so on. Even if these tools are known and widely mastered by companies, Microsoft has acknowledged that half of the content produced via the Office suite is out of control and is therefore not valued. This phenomenon has experienced a new rebound with the eruption of e-mail. 200 million e-mails are sent every minute.
    • The Web: news, e-commerce, governmental or community-based websites, by investing the Web, companies and organizations have created a considerable amount of data and generated ever more interactions, making it necessary to develop directories and search engines, the latter generating countless data from users’ queries.
    • Social media: by providing crowdsourcing, Web 2.0 is at the root of the phenomenal growth in the amount of data produced over the past ten years: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, of course, but also blogs, sharing platforms like Slideshare, Flickr, Pinterest or Instagram, RSS feeds, corporate social networks like Yammer or BlueKiwi, etc. Every minute, more than 30 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 2 million posts are posted on Facebook and 100,000 Twitter tweets.
    • Smartphones: as the IBM specifies, the mobile is not a terminal. The mobile is the data. There are now 4 times more mobile phones in use than PCs and tablets. A “standard” mobile user has 150 daily interactions with his smartphone, including messages and social interactions. Combined with social media and Cloud Computing services, mobile has become the first mass media outlet. By the end of 2016, Apple’s App Store and Google Play had over 95 billion downloaded apps.
    • IOT: mobile has opened the way to the Internet of Things. Everyday objects, equipped with sensors, in our homes or in industry, are now a potential digital terminal, capturing and transmitting data permanently. The industrial giant General Electric is installing intelligent sensors on most of its products, from basic electrical equipment to turbines and medical scanners. The collected data is analysed in order to improve services, develop new ones or minimise downtime.


Data visualization:


An image is better than a big discourse … Intelligent and usable visualization of analytics is a key factor in the deployment of Big Data in companies. The development of infographics goes hand in hand with the development of data-processing techniques.


The data visualization allows to:


    • show “really” the data: where data tables are rapidly unmanageable, diagrams, charts or maps provide a quick and easy understanding of the data;
    • reveal details: data visualization exploits the ability of human view to consider a picture as a whole, while capturing various details that would have gone unnoticed in a textual format or in a spreadsheet;
    • provide quick answers: by eliminating the query process, data visualization reduces the time it takes to generate business-relevant information, for example, about the use of a website;
    • make better decisions: by enabling the visualization of models, trends and relationships resulting from data analysis, the company can improve the quality of its decisions;
    • simplify the analyzes: datavisualizations must be interactive. Google’s Webmaster tools are an example. By offering simple and instinctive functionality to modify data sets and analysis criteria, these tools unleash the creativity of users.


Big Data Uses: 


The uses of Big Data are endless, but some major areas emerge.


Understand customer and customize services

This is one of the obvious applications of Big Data. By capturing and analyzing a maximum of data flows on its customers, the company can not only generate generic profiles and design specific services, but also customize these services and the marketing actions that will be associated with them. These flows integrate “conventional” data already organized via CRM systems, as well as unstructured data from social media or intelligent sensors that can analyze customer behavior at the point of purchase. Therefore, the objective is to identify models that can predict the needs of clients in order to provide them with personalized services in real time.


Optimize business processes

Big Data have a strong impact on business processes. Complex processes such as Supply Chain Management (SCM) will be optimized in real time based on forecasts from social media data analysis, shopping trends, traffic patterns or weather stations. Another example is the management of human resources, from recruitment to evaluating the corporate culture or measuring the commitment and needs of staff.


Improve health and optimize performance

Big Data will greatly affect individuals. This is first of all due to the phenomenon of “Quantified Self”, that is to say, the capture and analysis of data relating to our body, our health or our activities, via mobiles, wearables ( watches, bracelet, clothing, glasses, …) and more generally the Internet of the Objects. Big Data also allow considerable advances in fields such as DNA decoding or the prediction of epidemics or the fight against incurable diseases such as AIDS. With modeling based on infinite quantities of data, clinical trials are no longer limited by sample size.


Making intelligent machines

The Big Data is making most diverse machines and terminals more intelligent and more autonomous. They are essential to the development of the industry. With the multiplication of sensors on domestic, professional and industrial equipment, the Big Data applied to the MTM (MachineTo Machine) offers multiple opportunities for companies that will invest in this market. Intelligent cars illustrate this phenomenon. They already generate huge amounts of data that can be harnessed to optimize the driving experience or tax models. Intelligent cars are exchanging real-time information between them and are able to optimize their use according to specific algorithms.

Similarly, smart homes are major contributors to the growth of M2M data. Smart meters monitor energy consumption and are able to propose optimized behaviors based on models derived from analytics.

Big Data is also essential to the development of robotics. Robots are generating and using large volumes of data to understand their environment and integrate intelligently. Using self-learning algorithms based on the analysis of these data, robots are able to improve their behavior and carry out ever more complex tasks, such as piloting an aircraft, for example. In the US, robots are now able to perceive ethnic similarities with data from crowdsourcing.


Develop smartcities

The Big (Open) Data is inseparable from the development of intelligent cities and territories. A typical example is the optimization of traffic flows based on real-time “crowdsourced” information from GPS, sensors, mobiles or meteorological stations.

The Big Data enable cities, and especially megacities, to connect and interact sectors previously operating in silos: private and professional buildings, infrastructure and transport systems, energy production and consumption of resources, and so on. Only the Big Data modeling makes it possible to integrate and analyze the innumerable parameters resulting from these different sectors of activity. This is also the goal of IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative.


In the area of ​​security, authorities will be able to use the power of Big Data to improve the surveillance and management of events that threaten our security or predict possible criminal activities in the physical world (theft, road accidents , disaster management, …) or virtual (fraudulent financial transactions, electronic espionage, …).

Internet of Objects Will Reach €250 Billion in 2020

BCG expects that by 2020, € 250 billion will be devoted to IoT technologies, products and services. Among the studies examining the adoption of new technologies and investments in the IoT sector, the recent market analysis of the Boston Consulting Group offers a whole new vision.

The total number of IOT connections is expected to grow from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025, an annual growth rate of 16%, according to Machina Research’s annual report.

The B2B market for the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing day by day. Software-Hardware vendors, Service providers are all in competition to get the biggest market share. And to get the biggest piece of cake, every IOT provider’s concern is to know where are the growth opportunities?


Annual growth of at least 20% in the overall market


The two main sources of growth in the IoT market will be investment in services and applications. Here are the main points raised in the new BCG market study. Between 2015 and 2020, BCG expects revenues from all IoT sectors to grow at an annual rate of at least 20%. B2B customers are more focused on services, IoT analysis and applications, making them the fastest in terms of growth. By 2020, these layers will have captured more than 60% of the IoT growth. Moreover, each of these layers is expected to generate 60 billion euros of expenditure by 2020.



The ten most valuable business cases for business leaders


To spend €250 billion in IoT,  companies need to know which IoT applications have the potential to deliver more value.

Study reveals that predictive maintenance, production optimaization and automatic inventory management are the three most commonly used cases that will drive the IoT market by 2020. Business leaders are wondering how the IoT can help their businesses increase customer satisfaction, improve service quality, support new business models and reduce costs.

With those above mentioned use cases, BCG conducted a thorough analysis. They found another ten most valuable uses include the ability to use sensors to predict when machines will need to be repaired, Self Optimising Production, Automated Inventory Management, Remote Patient Monitoring , Smart Meters, Activity Trackers, Distributed Generation and Storage, Fleet management, Connected Cars and Response to Demand. The following chart compares the ten use cases by expected level of spending until maturity.



A more common digital transformation in companies that do not use technologies


By 2020, 50% of expenditures will be related to manufacturing, transportation, logistics and utilities. BCG predicts that IoT will have an even more transformative effect on non-technology-based industries. The success of this transformation depends heavily on secure, scalable, and reliable integration solutions, encompassing cloud systems and platforms.

Among the businesses to be monitored in this area, there is also more and more customers using real-time integration to connect existing ERPs, on-premises systems to cloud applications and platforms. This configuration allows for faster and more reliable operational performance.



Tech companies are becoming IoT suppliers


According to the BCG study, 40% of customers prefer to use traditional, existing and already well established software to implement their IoT solutions. This represents a challenge for large industrial companies whose future depends on their ability to transit to IoT suppliers. For example, General Electric’s Predix platform is an end-to-end industrial operating system to help its customers increase their operational efficiency. GE has made it clear that it is considering becoming a world leader in industrial IoT (IIoT) and being a major supplier to the IoT market.

Siemens is positioning itself in a similar strategy with its MindSphere platform. Azure IoT Suite from Microsoft, SAP Cloud HANA, Cloud IBM Watson and Cisco IoT System are examples of companies that redefine their business models as IoT providers. Device manufacturers such as Bosch and Intel are reinforcing to offer complementary hardware and operating systems to consolidate the IoT ecosystem of customers.

Today’s IoT customers are looking for end-to-end solutions. IOT vendors can only be successful if the connected things, communications, backbone, and security layers work seamlessly with the top layers. IoT providers don’t necessarily have to master all the components within the technology stack, but it is essential to takes into account the customer’s desire for an end-to-end solution.

Contactless / Mobile Payment Statistics in Belgium

Mobile Payments soar as Europe embraces new ways to pay. Not only Europe but worldwide countries are adapting numerous innovative and alternative payment methods, such as Contactless payment, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. These innovative payments methods are gaining huge success. In Belgium, for example, contactless payment is attracting more and more consumers. Worldline 2016 report shows that Belgians are paying less with cash, and are using their card even for transactions between 1€-10€.


When looking at the top ten countries in Europe where mobile payments are most dominant, we have 2 categories, developing markets such as Turkey and Romania, which have been leaving traditional payment methods behind to adopt new technologies faster; and developed markets – particularly the Nordics – which are evolving to new technologies at differing paces. In the UK, nearly three-quarters (74%) of the people surveyed are Mobile Payments users, and in Belgium it’s 75%.
mobile payments

The research also shows that mobile banking activity is increasing across all age groups. For the first time, more than half of European respondents in all age brackets are using mobile banking. With a growth rate of 33%, the highest growth rate is the 55-64 year olds, while profiles between 18-34 have a growth rate of 24%.
Mobile Payment Europe


It’s in 2014 that Mastercard Belgium has revealed contactless payment system that allows smartphone users to make payments using their NFC equipped devices, smartphone or with smart watch, as this highly protected technology can be installed everywhere. And by the end of 2016, nearly one billion transactions of this type were booked by VISA and Mastercard.

Banks, such as, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING, Belfius, Beobank have decided to join this development and have already offered Bancontact debit card, Maestro, Visa and Mastercard cards equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) to their clients.


With all transactions together, Worldline recorded a 10% increase in payments by credit card: Belgians paid 1.96 billion euros by Bancontact debit or credit card in 2016. This is 160 million more than in 2015. Of these payments, 71% come from a Bancontact card. On the other hand, Belgium is far behind in the area of ​​contactless payment. Even if banks are offering cards adapted to this system, as a result, less than 3% of transactions are recorded via this new system, much less than in the Netherlands, where 25% of electronic payments are made with a contactless card.


Belgium is really at the beginning of this system, so we do not doubt that the percentage of contactless payments in Belgium will increase over the years. At present, half of Worldline’s customer outlets are equipped with contactless terminals. And 90% should be by the end of the year, predicted Christophe Zehnacker, Head of Strategic Digital Partnerships at MasterCard. The goal of Worldline is to equip all of its customers with these new generation machines. Waiting for the arrival of the payment by smartphone, always via these terminals. However, training of consumers and vendors in this practice still needs to be done.


Apple Pay and Android Pay in Belgium


Although mobile payments have been an established trend for the past five years, they haven’t really come out on top. Its only in 2016 that smartphone payments became a reality. Whereas mobile payments have always been a fascinating topic, 2017 is set to be a defining year for their providers in Belgium.


From the moment the software allowing contactless transactions is activated in the terminal, it also works for smartphones or other devices equipped with NFC technology. Today, it is already possible to pay without introducing our card into the reader. The contactless payment system via a smartphone is now functional in Belgium on via Android pay. A transaction of less than 25 euros does not require any confirmation of pin code.


According to Christophe Zehnacker, the applications of contactless technology are very numerous. In London, for example, you can use your bank card or other NFC connected device to take public transport without having to bring a physical ticket. At the end of the day, an average of trips is then made to determine the most advantageous price to pay for them. This possibility should spread abroad and discussions are under way to implement it in Belgium.


Apple Pay:


Apple Pay is a contactless mobile payment system that was launched in October 2014. It relies on a transaction security system, preventing the cardholder from entering data related to it (PIN code, cryptogram) reinforced by the use of fingerprint authentication specific to the iPhone 6 and plus. It allows to make secure purchases in stores, in apps, and on the web and send and receive money from friends and family right in Messages.


Apple has to negotiate with the local merchants and banks in each country to impose his service out of United States. The process of spreading the Apple Pay system abroad is similar to a marathon since the Californian manufacturer has to face a specific banking and market context for each country. Negotiations with banks are likely to drag on, delaying the launch of Apple’s service for example in Belgium. In fact, no information seems to confirm the installation of this service in the near or distant future in Belgium. However, with the arrival of Android Pay, Apple could react by letting its Belgian users benefit from its mobile payment service asap.


Android Pay:


You already use your phone for just about everything. Now you can pay with it, too. Just add your credit, debit, loyalty, and gift cards to Android Pay, and start shopping in stores, in apps, and online. To be able to use this method of payment, it is necessary to have an Android smartphone which embeds a recent version of this operating system (at least KitKat 4.4+) and an NFC chip (in order to make a contactless payment). If so, simply install the Android Pay app and bind the credit card in question (via a simplified SMS authentication process). Then, to pay, simply approach your smartphone from a payment terminal where appears the symbol without contact and the trick is played.


In march 2017, contactless payment via smartphone has been introduced in Belgium. While Belfius was the first bank to say that its customers would have access to contactless payment from April, BNP Paribas Fortis was first to react. As of today, BNPPF customers, including those of Fintro and Hello Bank, – who hold a Visa credit card or a MasterCard (about 250,000 people) – can pay for their purchases via Android Pay. This possibility will surely extend later to the holders of a debit card (more than 750,000 customers).


According to BNPPF, more than 85,000 payment terminals already allow this type of payment in Belgium, both for small retailers and major brands such as Carrefour, Delivroo, H & M, McDonald’s, Media Markt, Medi-market, Quick, Uber or Vueling. In addition, 3.2 million terminals in Europe are already compatible with this payment solution.

NFC Contactless Payment – PCI / EMV Security Standards

NFC contactless payments

Contactless payment, thanks to its ease of use, are becoming part of our everyday lives. Digital payments comprised of online, mobile and contactless cards are expected to hit $3,6 trillion in transaction globally this year. The global value of contactless payments is expected to hit $500 billion annually in 2017 from an expected $321 billion at the end of 2016.


 If today this trend is confirmed into an increasing number of debit, credit and prepaid cards, their generalization is already programmed in mobile phones. More than that, mobile phones can contain the information of several contactless cards in a virtual “purse”. Before making a payment, it is up to you to choose the card that you prefer to use.


In this logic, most bank cards are equipped by default with an RFID / NFC chip that makes it possible to make payments without having to enter its PIN code but simply by approaching it to the payment terminal.


Security cards and concerns


Obviously, when we talk about payment and storage of sensitive information, security is an important factor. Therefore, contactless card payments have the same features as the traditional smart card and PIN code, and transaction process takes place via the same secure networks. Contactless payments by mobile phone also benefit from comparable security features.


For additional security, your bank can set a limit on expenses that you can do without using a PIN, mobile code or fingerprint for verification purposes. For transactions above this limit, you are asked to enter your PIN, mobile code or use the fingerprint reader on your mobile phone. Although low value contactless payments typically do not require a PIN to be entered on the payment terminal, you may be required to do so after a certain number of transactions to verify your identity and prevent fraud. Plus, the European legislation limits the liability of the consumer to 150 euros in case of fraudulent or undesirable payments. This ceiling should be lowered by the end of January 2018. Consumers may even be better protected by national legislation. In addition, payment service providers can offer their customers better protection or even full protection in the case of fraud.


Together with all these precautions, you should always take the necessary steps to keep your PIN or mobile code and any other safety information in a safe place. Inutile to say that if your card or mobile phone is lost or stolen, you must notify your payment service provider (ie the bank or card issuer) as soon as possible.


PCI / EMV Regulatory and Security Standards


Here below are listed the PCI (payment card industry) and EMV (europay mastercard visa) Security Standards which are set to better protect merchant and buyer, in this digital age, from financial fraud.


a)      PCI / DSS Standard:  


Major international card organizations introduced the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) in 2004 to enhance the security of card payments and protect traders and cardholders against data theft. This standard is constantly evolving to respond to threats, and its current version, 3.1, expires on 31/10/2016.

To comply with the standard, card processors, service providers and merchants are required to comply with 12 requirements. The requirements are the same since the standard was created, but are divided into sub conditions that evolve with the versions. Click here for more detail.


b)      The EMV standard


EMV (stands for Europay, Mastercard, Visa) is a technical standard that optimizes the security of card payments and data transfer. Data transfer and authentication intercede via the microprocessor of a chip. The debit and credit card data are stored twice: on the magnetic stripe and on the chip. If the payment terminal is equipped with a chip reader, authentication is done automatically via the EMV chip and not via the magnetic tape, which is now technically out of date.


This standard has now been adopted by virtually all credit card organizations and implemented in more than 80 countries. While the EMV compatibility of cards has rapidly spread to Europe, it has taken much longer to become established in the United States. Credit card fraud has therefore become massively displaced, proof that this standard is indeed an effective for security.


The EMV standard consists of 4 books, all of which contain specifications for chips used in payment systems:

Book 1: interface requirements between the card and the terminal independent of the application.

Book 2: security and management Key Features

Book 3: Application Specifications

Book 4: Cardholder, Attendant and Acquirer Interface requirements


The current version is 4.3 and was released in November 2011. While the EMV standard is virtually unchanged, which indicates its level of maturity, it is on the other hand extended by several others which are still fairly regularly updated. Click here for more details.


c)       The EMV Contactless Standard


This is an extension of the EMV standard, so it relies on all the specifications that make up the chip, and its specifications relate to the used terminals.

The EMV Contactless standard consists of 4 books:


Book A: Architecture and general requirements

Book B: Entry point

Book C: Kernel 7 specifications

Book D: EMV contactless communication protocol specifications


This standard brings together the NFC, which deals with how the devices communicate, and the EMV standard, which deals with how payment is made. It provides for the use of a card (equipped with NFC) or a smartphone. However, the case of using an NFC card does not entirely correspond to the definition of the contactless payment as set out in the introduction, since it recommends introducing the card into a terminal which communicates without contact with the reader responsible for performing the transaction (payment). In the EMV Contactless standard, communication is done in peer-to-peer mode.


d)      3D Secure


The 3D Secure (D for Domain) is also derived from the EMV, and has been made necessary to answer a problem with Internet payment on e-commerce sites. It addresses the problem of verifying that the person making the payment is the holder of the payment card.

•The client selects the type of card and communicate the card number, expiration, cryptogram

•The system verifies that the card is enrolled in 3D Secure

•If the card is accepted, the client is redirected to the site of his bank which sends him a code to validate his purchase

•The system records (for the log sent to the e-merchant)

NB: If this standard does not concern contactless payment, its presentation is interesting in the context of online shopping.

#NFC-Technology: Discover the Value of NFC Application For Your #InternetOfThings


Smartphone is increasingly present in our environment. For many of us, it wakes us up in the morning, allows us to know how to dress after checking the weather, accompanies us in transportation, allows us to stay in touch with real world and many other activities related to each of us. In addition to that we are purchasing more and more products and services with our smartphones and our interaction is growing with our environment, home, car or city. And as you know, all this carries the generic name of IOT.


With performing all the previously mentioned activities, we leave our traces on the Internet. We leave information on different social medias. Only with the simple use of Gmail, free for the user, we give authorization to Google to use the information contained in our emails. By comments on blogs, on Amazon, on TripAdvisor, on Twitter, pictures on Flicker or Instagram, we therefore share much more information than we think, again, more or less voluntarily, and all this is enriching databases under the generic term of big data. This information is making the economic happiness of many companies, the first being Google, Apple or Amazon. This IOT is mainly an Internet of the data, we give our data that is recovered and exploited by others.


As more things are getting connected, concerns over data privacy and security are growing. Using NFC as a communication method can help resolve some of these concerns.


This is where the NFC comes in.


NFC (=Near Field Communication) technology was born thanks to the coupling of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) with smart cards. RFID is a contactless identification system that has been used for a long time for traceability purposes. It enables simplified transactions, data exchange, pairing, wireless connections and convenience between two objects when in close proximity to one another (about 10 centimeters). Because the communication is one-to-one and requires such close proximity, data privacy is more inherent that with other wireless approaches.


The choice of NFC technology on mobile phones is guided by several motivations related to the consumer use of the mobile phone at the present time and by various types of NFC applications conceivable in the field of mobile banking, creative marketing, health. Indeed, in recent years the integration of several technologies (4G, 4G+ networks, GPS, NFC, etc.) into the mobile phone has transformed it into a multiservice tool that cannot be ignored in our daily lives.


Today, NFC technology is gaining interest from manufacturers, particularly those in the telephony, IOT and sensors sector, who have integrated it into many consumer Smartphones. There are many applications ranging from electronic payment to time-stamping and localization.


Communication Modes of NFC:


NFC has 3 communication modes: Card emulation mode, The reader mode and Peer-to-Peer.


Card emulation mode: In this mode, any NFC enable device, can be used to make transactions instead of using any contactless card. In the case where the NFC enable device is a compatible mobile phone, the SIM card of the operator can be used as a security element by storing encrypted information. There are many different sort of card-type applications, such as, contactless payments, identification card, loyalty card, access control, motel pass cards etc.


The reader mode : The mobile terminal becomes a contactless card reader (active mode) or “radio labels” (electronic tags). This mode allows you to read information from various NFC-enables smart objects, only by approaching your mobile phone in front of electronic tags placed on the street, on bus shelters, monuments, posters … or on packages, products = smart advertising. Not only reading but it’s also possible to write information to these smart information sources using the right NFC enabled device.


Peer-to-Peer Mode: This mode allows two NFC enabled devices to exchange information, such as vCards, photos, videos, tickets, etc. A device with NFC technology is capable of exchanging information with contactless smart cards but also with other devices equipped with this technology. In peer-to-peer mode, one of reader/writer behaves as a tag, creating a communication link. Using NFC in this mode is equal to having a secure network in your pocket that you can use in any location with peace of mind.



Study Case: Hotel Room Access


Let’s take a first mobile phone user, who usually travels and book hotels for his stay. This person has a SIM card in which an NFC application is installed. His mobile operator, in Belgium, told him that he could access NFC devices thanks to his SIM card because it has a SIM-Centric technology.


Our user thus travels on business in different regions of Belgium. The hotels in which he stays ask him to pass his phone in front of a terminal in order to obtain a digital key. So, his phone can be used as a key.

Afterwards, our user goes to a conference in Germany and also wants to check-in in a hotel room. At the time of registration, the reader accepts his SIM card but informs him that his operator will charge him a fee due to this service outside Belgium.


Upon returning from the conference, the user asks his operator to change the billing-plan so that he does not have to pay any fees in the future and the operator tells him that this is impossible because at the moment the service costs the operator.


In another case our user could book his hotel room online. He would then receive on his mobile phone an electronic key that would be valid throughout the stay and that, when used with the NFC chip and the appropriate application, would allow him to access his room by presenting the mobile in front of the door equipped with an NFC reader.


The Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, helped consumers to access directly their rooms and avoid queues by replacing all room keys in 2011 with digital keys for customers already equipped with NFC devices. Same approach for check-out, made with a simple touch between their phones and the lobby reader. 60% of users said they had saved more than ten minutes and 80% would use the system again if they had the opportunity while the hotel was able to reassign check-in staff while removing keys replacement problems.


Transport users already use their phones as boarding passes and we witness NFC payment systems in restaurants, taxis, shopping malls or distributors. In hospitals, offices, university campuses, we can use our phones to enter buildings, make purchases, use transportation and identify ourselves. NFC phones is even being used to provide physicians with access to your medical history.


Industry experts predict that the NFC will continue to revolutionize our lives in the years to come. Our daily checklist – “keys, wallet, phone” – is about to shorten. It will not take long before you see the functionality of these three objects integrated into an NFC compatible handset.