Archive for the ‘Tech Corner’ Category

Come, Let’s Protect Net Neutrality

Net neutrality may seem like a dull subject to some, but protecting it is essential not only for the future of the Internet, but also for the future of our democracy. Net neutrality, simply put, is the fundamental principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally and is based on our right to “communicate freely online”.

We want open, free Internet

We want open, free Internet

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web recently mentioned in a blog post that freedom of connection with any application to any party is the fundamental social basis of the internet. And is the basis of the society built on the internet.

The issue has recently created waves in India, which has until now enjoyed open, free and fair internet in every corner- from the corporate boardroom to the college cafeteria. This equality of opportunity is at the core of net neutrality, stimulates a virtuous circle between more competition, lower prices, higher connectivity and greater innovation, benefiting all citizens, as well as internet companies large and small. Hence, the importance of preserving net neutrality is obvious.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is mulling to form guidelines on the same, with internet being under relentless attack by major telecom seeking yet another advantage to tighten their grip on the market.

Meanwhile, the movement has gained further momentum as travel portal Cleartrip, broadcasting network NDTV and media conglomerate Times Group, anong others, pulled out of, a partnership between Reliance Communications and Facebook that proposed to waive off data chargers for subscribers accessing a suite of websites and applications.

Experts believe, a tiered Internet will be great for the profits of telecom companies, but miserable for entrepreneurs, stifling the pace of innovation. Not only will big corporations gain an advantage, but also a small handful of them will have the ability to actively interfere with their competition. For example, an Internet provider that offers its own phone service could block access to Skype, or a cable company could disrupt a music app. worse yet, this could lead to online discrimination, with the providers obstructing controversial views to protect their financial or political interests.

Net neutrality is also essential to maintaining a genuinely open marketplace of ideas. However without net neutrality, a few major corporations would control which voices are heard most easily, and it would be much harder for grassroots groups, individuals, and small businesses to compete with large corporations and well-funded special interests.

With the Internet becoming a fundamental tool in our everyday life, people from all over India have raised their voice to keep Net neutrality alive and now its each one of our turn too.

TRAI on March 27 put up a consultation paper on its website asking users to give their views on net neutrality in India. The last day for netizens to send their views to Trai on the subject is April 24. Indians have sent over 1 lakh emails to TRAI over the issue through the website: Let TRAI know that you need Net neutrality and defend the Internet freedom.

You could also sign this petition over at…


All you want to know about Section 66-A

Internet - Freedom of Speech

Internet – Freedom of Speech

The Supreme Court has just scrapped Section 66-A, a draconian law that allowed arrests for offensive content online. Free speech campaigners across the country repeatedly abused the law and so the verdict comes as a relief to online users, who will no longer be required to take down content after complaints from any party. At the same time, it has brought cheers to global businesses that operate online and most importantly social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as they see the ruling is about encouraging more investment in the Internet sector in India.

What’s so ugly about it?

Incorporated in 2009 into India’s IT Act of 2000, section 66A allowed anyone to be arrested for posting any ‘offensive’ message on social media or sending it via email, and jailed for up to 3 years. . It criminalized ‘offense’ and ‘annoyance’, leaving it to police officials and others to interpret what those meant.

Last month, a 12th class student was arrested and jailed in Uttar Pradesh for two days for a Facebook post about minister Azam Khan. Back in 2012, two girls were arrested in Mumbai for liking a Facebook post criticizing the shut-down of Bombay after Bal Thackeray’s death. In the same year a Puducherry businessman was arrested for tweeting that Congress politician Karti Chidambaram had amassed much wealth. A professor in Kolkata’s Jadavpur University was arrested for forwarding a cartoon on chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Section 66A was challenged in 2012 by a young law student, Shreya Singhal, then 21. She filed a public-interest litigation in the Supreme Court, shortly after the arrest of the two girls in Mumbai for their Facebook post. Nearly a dozen other petitions followed.

Petitioner Shreya Singhal’s case was argued by India’s former attorney general Soli Sorabjee. Others also filed petitions about 66A and related laws in the same act: these petitions were grouped together and included by the supreme court in its final order of March 24, striking down 66A. Petitioners included the consumer review portals, NGO Common Cause represented by lawyer Prashant Bhushan, NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties represented by Karuna Nundy, Apar Gupta, and others.

A step up for online freedom?

According to Nasscom, the landmark ruling upholds the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression given under the Constitution of India. Expressing his views on the development, Mr. R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, said, “Internet as a medium is meant to be free and transcend territorial borders with minimal regulation and monitoring. The IT Act has well served the objective to provide the legal framework for data security andinternet laws in the country.”

He believes that the changes enabled by the Supreme Court judgement would provide much needed boost to the citizens of the country and help the objective of a digitally connected India. Chandrashekhar said that Nasscom will continue to work with the government to formulate rules and provisions for effective governance.

Won’t there be ‘Misuse’ of freedom

As posting “offensive” comments online is no longer a punishable crime, there are voices of concerns that the biggest threats may come from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, if no measures of control are imposed. However, legal expert Amit Mukherjee states “While contentious social media posts will not attract Section 66A any further, penal provisions relating to defamation, obscenity, mischief, public disorder, etc remain.”

Mukherjee states that the government can still issue orders to block access to websites under 69A rules, which creates a mechanism for blocking.

In fact, there are provisions in other laws for moderating hate speech. For instance, section 295A of the Indian Penal Code provides for a similar jail term for “acts intended to outrage religious feelings”. However, such provisions are less vague and arbitrary, and thus less prone to misuse, than 66A was. Also, 69A remains, which allows the blocking of specific web sites or pages with a government or court order.

In other words, persons aggrieved by social content can approach a nodal officer in the Information Technology Department. The department’s review committee will then examine the posting, call the person who has posted it if he is identifiable, and then take a call on blocking it. Only a designated officer can pass such orders. This, according to him, will reduce liability on intermediaries and will result in a transparent independent ecosystem.

A greater onus now lies with the government to re-examine the issue and strike an appropriate balance by upholding freedom of expression and also deter unbridled defamation in cyberspace, believe experts and also depends on how the social media companies dealing with the same.

Consequently, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who believes that India is a democratic country and free flow of ideas should be respected, however, said it is important to have self-regulation and that social media platforms should also practice some self-restraint.

For example, Twitter said it will make sure that the “voices” of its users are defended at every cost. “India is one of the fastest growing markets for Twitter in terms of users and we have a great reputation as a company for defending and respecting our user voices… We will defend and protect our users interests across the world,” asserts CEO Dick Costolo during his maiden India visit.

The same rule however will not be applied when dealing with terror groups like ISIS and others as Costolo states that accounts of terror groups like ISIS are against law and serviceterms.

What about cyber bullies?

Post 66A, arbitrary arrests for ‘offensive statements’ should reduce, and online free speech will be easier. However, experts believe that Section 66A also contained legal recourse against a number of other cyber crimes such as stalking, bullying, threatening through SMS and email, phishing and spamming, among others and the Supreme Court seems to have overlooked this aspect. Some experts have reportedly argued that with newer kinds of cyber crimes emerging on a daily basis, the ruling.

The Indian Penal Code’s Section 499 and 500 only takes care of it in the physical world. But Mukherjee states, under Section 4 of the IT Act brings electronic information at par with physical documents, and hence the same provision can be applied.

While freedom of expression has been hailed and celebrated among online users, to help combat instances of cyber stalking, bullying and other natures of cyber crime, the government, along with IT bodies are reportedly working together to bring out guidelines to address some of these areas.

Blurring The Lines Between Machines And Humans

The day may not be far away when supercomputers and robots take over humankind. Companies such as Google are already working on this vision, though they cite that these initiatives can bring tremendous gain in the business, research and community development. Google is currently working on a super-fast “quantum” computer chip in which machines can have the ability to think like humans. The tech titan is also working on projects including self-driving cars and robots that are increasingly focused on artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years.

The day may not be far away when supercomputers and robots take over humankind.

The day may not be far away when supercomputers and robots take over humankind.

For the new initiative, it has added renowned researcher John Martinis and his team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the Quantum Artificial Intelligence team at Google, the director of engineering Hartmut Neven says in the company blog. The team can design and build chips operating on sub-atomic levels in ways making them exponentially faster than processors currently used in computers, he informs.

“With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learning from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture,” he mentions.

The dangers of super-intelligence

An Oxford philosophy professor, Nick Bostrom, however sees a lot of threat in the rise of super-intelligence, which he believes can outperform human intellect in every field, and thinks its most likely form will be “artificial intelligence.”

In an interview with Huffington Post, Bostrom argues that there are two ways AI could go. “It could greatly improve our lives and solve the world’s problems, such as disease, hunger and even pain. Or, it could take over and possibly kill all or many humans. As it stands, the catastrophic scenario is more likely, says Bostrom, who has a background in physics, computational neuroscience and mathematical logic.

Opportunities abound

Despite the impending threats, analysts see abundant opportunities for companies like Google, Apple and Facebook who are taking artificial intelligence, robotics and super-intelligence to the next level.

They believe, Google is moving away from search, ads, and Android and has made a number of acquisitions that are linked to robotics. These initiatives are a part of the company’s Google X division that is responsible for the company’s moon-shot projects such as self-driving cars, Google Glass etc. The new head of Google’s robotics business is Andy Rubin, who led the successful development of Android. Under Rubin’s guidance, the company has reportedly bought several companies and start-ups related to robotics including,, a Japanese firm specializing in Humanoid robots, Redwood Robotics, a US-based firm dealing with Robotic Arms and then Boston Dynamics, which also works in the field of robotics.

Last year, Google’s artificial intelligence lab partnered with US space agency NASA on quantum computing research. In December last year, Google has reportedly hired a former Microsoft employee to work on machine learning.

Google had also announced its acquisition of DeepMind, a UK-based start-up that focuses on artificial intelligence early this year. Google Chiefs said that the DeepMind acquisition will help them augment their artificial intelligence capacity strengthening its foothold in the field of Robotics.

Very recently, Google bought AI app Emu that learns behaviors to organize your life. Emu was founded by ex-Google and Apple employee Gummi Hafsteinsson and its ‘machine learning’ capabilities could provide Google with added context and faster response times, across different devices, the company said in a statement.

Emerging powerful

Although it’s not clear what Google will do with some of its latest AI-based acquisitions or partnerships, it is likely to make our lives “more connected and intelligent.” As a Guardian report points out: “What makes these robotics acquisitions interesting is, what they reveal about the scale of Google’s ambitions. For this is a company that’s like we have not seen before. Because if even a fraction of the company’s ambitions eventually come to fruition, Google will become one of the most powerful corporations on Earth.”

In the light of these developments, some analysts also believe that Google will be taking its rivalry with Apple and Facebook to a virtual world, in the machine learning and artificial intelligence space where these companies are all making inroads and we shall be ready to see the fierce battle of power and intelligence in the days to come.

(The article has been originally published in

Why WhatsApp Puts Me Off

While I was on the bus, I realised that a lot of people were busy typing out on their phones. I took a peek at the people around me and saw that almost everyone was using WhatsApp. The world loves the green-speaking bubble! I have to admit I’m not one of them. I would rather say, ‘I find WhatsApp very ANNOYING. While this could be an understatement, its intoxicating beep every minute and the mostly irresistibly brainless messages just puts me off.

Recently a friend of mine disowned me for not being part of their WhatsApp group. Facebook connected with friends with whom I’d lost touch 15-20 years ago – of course there are some we have never met or might never meet as well, but it was more sensible. But with Whatsapp, we need to be in touch with people everyday, every minute, all the time without really any need, want or desire – just for the heck of it! It makes us forget that people we did not want, were not there because of a reason. Period!

While I’m not on an anti-WhatsApp mission, these are just personal thoughts, I know for many, it is out of necessity or social pressure than a choice! Or else they will be ‘disowned’ by a couple of their friends as I said earlier. But end of day, WhatsApp is just another technology. As another friend has rightly put, “No worries, we’ll all grow out of it…and soon!”

Where Are The Women In Tech?

While Sheryl Sandberg, Marrisa Mayer, Meg Whitman and Padmasree Warrior, are some of the names floating around when we talk about successful women in the IT industry, recent data reveals that most women employees are yet to make their presence felt in this sector, especially in tech roles. So, where are the women in tech?

women in tech

women in tech

According to data, women make up 25-40% of the total workforce at all these companies, globally as well as in Indian IT services providers, but the fact remains that less than 50% perform the core tech functions. For instance, a Gartner report reveals that despite female tech leaders showing similar or even better performance than men, especially when it comes to deploying digital strategies in their organizations, the percentage of women tech executives are relatively few. The percentage of women CIOs, for example, has remained largely static since 2004, when Gartner first analyzed the CIO Agenda Survey data by gender.

Researcher Tina Nunno believes it is disappointing that the overall percentage of women in the role has not grown significantly in the last 10 years. Take for example a specific domain like IT security, where there is an acute shortage of women workforce, as a Frost & Sullivan report indicates that women represent about 11% of the current IT security workforce.

Michael Suby, Senior Researcher at Frost & Sullivan mentions that the IT security industry requires more women workforce because the nature of work in this sector involves greater aligning their goals with business, improved communication skills and excelling at diverse tasks and these skills and attributes are most common in women professionals. Yet there is a shortage in the supply of women workforce.

However, in some of the largest tech firms as far as percentage of women workforce is concerned, figures are good enough. For example, at Facebook, women make up 31% of the workforce in the organization. Yahoo on the other hand has 37% of women in its total workforce with over 12000 employees. The other tech major Google too has over 30% women in its workforce.

The India figures are even better, especially for the big companies. The country’s largest IT services provider, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), for instance, has almost 100,000 women professionals, which is 33% of its total workforce. Similarly, Infosys and Wipro has 34% and 30% women workforce in their organizations respectively. The large number of women in the workforce can be attributed to the nature of the outsourcing work done in these companies.

But fact remains that in these companies, most women are hired in non-technology roles. For instance, only 15% of women employees at Facebook and Yahoo work in the tech space and for Google its 17%. TCS too has no woman board member and in other firms too the numbers are negligible.

Powerful women leaders in tech like Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg have been vocal about the need for more women in tech and for a corporate environment where they can succeed. Others in IT too say they are aware of the problem and are doing their bit to address the concern.

Facebook is reportedly finding qualified but under-represented candidates” and “partnering with other organizations working to achieve the same goal. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, a non-profit organization that was launched in March 2013, is a platform to encourage women to continue to be active and ambitious in their careers even as they start families. She has also authored a book, titled Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

TCS too has iExcel, a specialized executive education program for women employees, grooming women managers for leadership roles.” The company also has interactive forums, mentors and women discussion circles that address the aspirations and needs of the women employees”. Wipro also launched the “Women of Wipro” programme in 2008 with its CEO T.K. Kurien being recognized as a recipient of the 2014 Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Award for the company’s commitment to gender equality. Meanwhile, the “Infosys Women’s Inclusivity Network” program says that it “works towards creating a gender-sensitive and inclusive work environment for women employees and trains them for managerial and leadership roles.”

However, these are just the tip of the iceberg and the scene in the “privileged IT companies. Reality continues to bite. As the same cannot be said about hundreds of others, where huge disparity exists. As a recent Catalyst study reveals that gender gap results in stunted career growth for women in the IT sector.While women kickstart their career as equals with men, expecting career growth, they tend to receive fewer opportunities that lead to advancement, as a result of which, very few women progress to a critical senior-level position. The study shows that even after 12 years into their careers, women lag behind men by approximately Rs.3.8 lakhs in terms of pay.

“In today’s growing economy, with high job mobility and the corresponding high demand for talent, organizations must do everything they can to attract and retain women—who, the study shows, are amongst their most committed employees,” says Shachi Irde, Executive Director, Catalyst India WRC.

Women should also be encouraged and trained in emerging technology, especially in the digital age where social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) is the norm and more women engineers should be encouraged, ensuring pay equity, equal access to developmental opportunities, and flexible and inclusive environments to get more women in technology.

I believe education, opportunity, and visibility— having all three in place will go a long way to expanding the presence of women in the tech industry and will answer “Where are the women in tech?” once and for all.


Satya Nadella – The New Face Of Microsoft

He is just like one of us, someone we can somewhat relate to … and that’s is why Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella inspires!

He gets excited about new things… he buys more books than he can read… he signs up for more online courses than he can actually finish… but what drives him the most is to be able to watch people do great things and learn new concepts. That’s Satya Nadella for you, Microsoft’s new CEO who succeeds Steve Ballmer – and is currently the most talked about tech executive in the whole world.

Much has been said and written about him ever since his name was announced as the third CEO of Microsoft in its four-decade history. The 46-year old India born techie, who has been with Microsoft for over 22 years and was leading the Cloud and Enterprise division is all set for the Big role!

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

Bill Gates who now takes on the role of technology advisor believes that there is no better person to lead Microsoft at present. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth,” he says.

Many believe with his potential, what he could bring to Microsoft’s table and the tech world at large can be huge. Here’s a compilation of some unique facts on Satya Nadella – the new face of Microsoft.

The Journey for knowledge

Satya was born in Hyderabad (AP) India, in a Telugu family to an IAS officer, B. N. Yugandhar, who was a top bureaucrat in the rural development ministry when Narasimha Rao was the prime minister. Satya attended the Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet. In a recent media interview, Yugandhar says delightedly, “I am proud of my son and I wish him all the best!”

After completing school, he started his journey to seek higher knowledge. Satya went to Manipal in Karnataka to pursue a bachelor of engineering in Electronics and Communication degree from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) Mangalore University, Manipal, Karnataka. After moving to the US, Nadella earned an MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Unlike most people who get carried away by career and success, Satya still keeps in touch with his school friends. His friends often see him as very passionate, friendly and driven person.

In an interview with a leading daily, his classmate, M Chandrasekhar, former CEO of an IT firm in the city recalls, “Satya was very friendly and jovial. He was also a bright student. We studied together for about five years and there was not one single person who had issues with him in class.”

Satya always has the knack of building things. “Computer science was what I wanted to pursue. But the subject was not available in the University. And so electronic engineering was a great way for me to discover what turned out to become a passion,” he says.

Cricket is his other passion. Satya played cricket when younger, which he now cites as one of his hobbies. “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career,” he says in an interview.

Following his extensive education, Satya went to Sun Microsystems where he was a member of the technology staff. He quit Sun in 1992 to join Microsoft and quickly rose through the ranks, growing Microsoft’s internet ventures along the way.

From Bing Master to Cloud Guru

Nadella worked as the senior vice-president of research and development (R&D) for the Online Services Division and vice-president of the Microsoft Business Division. Later, he was made the president of Microsoft’s $19 billion Server and Tools Business and led a transformation of the company’s business and technology culture from client services to cloud infrastructure and services.

Though Satya’s career focused the business side of Microsoft, he’s also worked on some offerings used in the consumer space, like the Bing search engine.

He has been credited for helping bring Microsoft’s database, Windows Server and developer tools to its Azure cloud – some of the most thriving areas. . The revenue from Cloud Services grew to $20.3 billion in June 2013 from $16.6 billion when he took over in 2011. According to Bloomberg, Satya’s 2013 base salary was nearly $700,000, for a total compensation, with stock bonuses, of $7.6 million.

Nadella played a huge role in Microsoft’s transition to cloud computing. In an interview with Gigaom, he points out, “Cloud is perhaps the most secular growth engine out there because it scales with a number of devices, and it scales with a number of apps, so it scales with the users and their devices and their apps.”

With devices and apps needing more compute and more storage, cloud is the one thing you can bet on… and that there is going to be more cloud, explains Satya.

The down-to-earth CEO

The age of larger-than-life tech founders is over, say many. Low-key and humble, Nadella is every bit different from Ballmer. With over two decades of experience with Microsoft, serving under both Bill Gates and Ballmer, Nadella has built and managed growing sectors at Microsoft. Naturally comparisons will be drawn with the former CEO Steve Ballmer, who according to Bloomberg  is ‘loud’ when compared to the new CEO who is thought as personable and more diplomatic.

David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School elucidates, Ballmer’s aggressive salesmanship during the boom days of the personal-computer industry exemplified how Microsoft became the world’s most valuable company. Now the software maker needs a new approach to catch-up in areas including tablets, smartphones and cloud services. Yoffie believes Nadella’s obviously a deep technologist, and he’s going to bring that back to a Microsoft that hasn’t had it in the CEO office for years.

When asked why he wanted to become CEO of Microsoft, Satya said the company was central to applying human potential to a world becoming more rapidly software-driven. He says he felt “honoured, humbled and excited” to be CEO. “We have tremendous opportunity, and that’s inspiring. But to seize it, we must move faster, focus and continue to transform. I see a big part of my job as accelerating our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.

“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionised the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company,” he says.

Even though he maintains a low profile, Quartz’s Leo Mirani believes Satya is not exactly a hermit. “When Nadella was already known to be a leading CEO candidate — his focus on unglamorous-but-important products for business use means he shows up at public events less often than colleagues like Joe Belfiore of the Windows Phone team.” He also doesn’t have a penchant for Tweeting.

According to some, Satya being a Cloud computing expert and Cloud is an area Microsoft has gained popularity with enterprise customers for its Azure platform remains a positive point. But the challenge lies beyond the cloud as mobile remains an area of concern.

Microsoft has faced a gradually decline in its PC-centric Windows and Office business and needs to challenge Apple and Google in the new realm of mobile computing, believe experts, something which is a huge challenge for the new CEO. Therefore, how Satya will help in the mobile revival is something that needs to be watched out.

“I would advise him (Nadella) to take a fresh look at mobile, or bring in some talent who really understands the space,” said David Smith, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner in his blog.

The guy next door

Satya was pretty much the guy next door. He played cricket, played pranks, loved music, was a champion debater and a good student, but not at the top of his class. He is not even an IITan. Instead he comes from a relatively humble Manipal Institute of Technology, has been chosen to head a tech giant at a time of challenge. And he fell in love with and married his childhood sweetheart and daughter of his father’s IAS batchmate, K.R. Venugopal Anupama Priyadarshini, whom he had met in his high school in Hyderabad.

In 1992, the couple tied the knot, as TOI reports how a simple family affair in New Delhi eventually ended up becoming a talking point, thanks to an illustrious guest who decided to turn up at the venue uninvited – It was the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao. “They (the families) had planned a simple event without fanfare. But Rao found out about it and gatecrashed. He even scolded them (his two prized secretaries) for not inviting him,” recalls Anupama’s cousin Dinesh S Sastry in the report.

The couple have been married for 22 years and has three children — two daughters and one son. The Nadella family lives in Bellevue, Washington at present.

On his new appointment, Sastry tweets: “Satya Nadella and Anupama are very compassionate people and their families have done so much for the poor thru the UN and Indian PMO…”

Satya’s love for American and Indian poetry is also something that has become a talk of the industry, apart from his love for sports and reading.

Satya sure has a big task in hand bringing Microsoft back at the right growth track. Experts believe, he has the Nokia handset unit to grow and make Windows Phone a serious contender, continue growing the Xbox unit’s place in the living room, keep refining Windows 8 and Windows 9 to make attractive to customers, and grow the cloud services and enterprise business.

As a proud father Yugandhar recalls,”Satya worked very hard for the last 22 years at Microsoft to reach where he is today. I think Satya deserved what he has achieved so far and I can only wish him success in all his endeavors.”

Satya Nadella is surely an inspiration to all budding tech professionals and the industry. while we continue to track his growth record and that of Microsoft’s, we too wish the India-born technology leader all the best in his forthcoming endeavors!

(The article was published on February 8, in

For Internet of Things, 2020 will be a revolutionary year!

internet_of_things_A6JR9When Chetan Bhagat wrote his novel Revolution 2020, little did he realize that another great revolution is set to happen in the technology world around the same year  – that is not too far off! Analysts believe the Internet of Things (IOT) will create a huge revolution by 2020, with over 80 billion things or objects likely to be connected to the Internet. At least that’s what a new research report from consulting firm iDate predicts.

IOT, a subject of great interest and discussion among industry experts, analysts and researchers – is expected to witness humongous growth in the coming quarters and most of this growth will be driven by factors such as proliferation of smartphones, tablets, wearable techs and other connected devices as well as greater availability of bandwidth and elements that are being embedded in modern devices such as sensors, image recognition and NFC technologies.

A booming market

Experts define IOT as a concept whereby any item can connect to the Internet to retrieve information to enhance its intrinsic value. Based on this definition, 15 billion things (machines, connected devices and objects) were connected to the Internet in 2012, up from 4 billion in 2010.

“In 2020, there will be 80 billion where internet of objects will represent 85% of the total IoT market, ahead of communicating devices with 11% and M2M with only 4%,” says Samuel Ropert, project leader of this report. He informs that the market will grow at a CAGR of 41% between 2010 and 2020, followed by communicating devices with 22 percent CAGR and M2M with 16% CAGR.

On the revolutionary growth, Amitabh Ray, Senior VP- Ericsson India Global Services comments that 2020 will indeed be a landmark year for Internet of Things as connectivity will be present everywhere. “There will be connection between your mobile phone, alarm clock, geyser, vacuum cleaner, microwave and all the devices that we use in our daily lives,” he says.

According to the iDate report, the new promising IOT market will be driven by multiple industries including automotive, aeronautics, energy, food and retail, connected home and healthcare. But maximum growth will come from pharmaceutical and textile sectors in the coming years.

Security challenges

The report however highlights that businesses will have to face considerable security challenges with the growth of IOT. Technical research organization, IEEE reveals in a new survey that nearly 50% of respondents believe that privacy and security are the biggest concerns in the adoption of IOT.

Andrew Rose, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research mentions that there is an increased risk of data to be stolen or compromised when deploying emerging technologies such as IOT. “Companies should have a security policy in place to identify targets, evolve key security control, add newer delivery mechanisms and review their security scenario frequently,” he mentions in a blog.

However, security challenges cannot act as a deterrent to this trend, which will continue to boom. The Forrester study also reveals that 53% of companies globally are planning to implement IOT-related technologies over the next 2 years, which analysts believe is indeed a huge leap!


(The article has been published in For more information, log on to: