Interview with Héctor Manubens, Smart Cities Director at Ikusi
What business applications is your company currently contemplating?
At Ikusi we provide technological solutions that satisfy the needs of operators in the sectors where we work. Each and every one of the Ikusi business lines operates with this perspective: airports, telecommunications and IT networks, smart cities...
These days, the added value of Ikusi is premised on developing solutions for data capture and analysis enabling clients to increase their competitive leverage by optimizing their processes.
With this perspective, we deploy specialized technological solutions to respond to the needs of multiple sectors such as airports, urban traffic, smart cities, health... In the field of project integration, we provide services for turnkey projects with the help of our strategic alliances. Likewise, as telecommunications and IT network integrators, we design, implement and manage telecommunications technologies and infrastructures using solutions for different sectors such as operators, the business market and governments. We offer innovative alternatives for architecture in matters such as networking, cloud platforms, collaboration and the Internet of Things.
Currently, what levels of data processing are implemented in companies based on size ‒ for SMEs and large companies? How is this made profitable, by company size, by data volume? Or what are the most important variables for this?
Data have become the fuel for 21st-century companies. As in other fields, there are companies spearheading this new reality and others who are adopting less active roles. However, all of them are conscious of having to transform their models based on data. We are at a time of searching, seeking to know how to get value from these data. Companies need to access new profiles of professionals capable of analyzing these data, obtaining patterns from them and turning them into pertinent information for the management of the company proper, as well as proposing new businesses and solutions to clients. The next generation of solutions will involve development related to forecasting. The work with data during a first phase opens the possibility of knowing the past, what happened and why it happened. However, analysis of a gradually increasing amount of data will enable us to move towards predictive analysis, which will explain what is going to happen, and in the advanced stage of this process of creating data-based knowledge, we will be capable of developing prescriptive analyses and making things happen just as we have projected.
Are security applications being implemented at the speed necessary for the growth of IoT? Are companies the users of these applications, are they behind the attacks being carried out, or are they being rather reactive?
We are being faced with a challenge. The volume of IoT devices is growing exponentially. Cisco calculates that by 2020, 50 billion devices of all types will be interconnected. A large proportion of them have not been designed along software security criteria, making them the weak links in the chain. We will have to work to mitigate these vulnerabilities, using systems that can block possible incidents and make it possible to resolve them fast, guaranteeing the continuity of business. We must invest in robust security systems, but it is just as important or more to ensure that companies and the people forming part of them become aware of the relevance of security and of compliance with established standards.
Are telecommunications engineers a needed profile for this business? Basically where, and what functions will they perform? What advantages can they offer as professionals in this area? What training and/or additional specific experience is required for professional opportunities?
Doubtless telecommunications engineers will have a fundamental role to play in the digital transformation we are living. I said before that data have become the fuel of the new business models, but still they are worthless if we do not dispatch and deliver them to the professionals to analyze. New protocols are emerging that will promote data communication and transmission between billions of IoT devices: NBIoT, LoRa, Zigbee, LoRaWAN, Sigfox, Ble and LTE account for some of these. The telecommunications engineers are the ones who take charge of creating hybrid architectural models to enable devices to communicate over the various protocols. From that point onward, those who want to work in the new digital environment can expand their training in specific big-data knowhow and acquire scientific and data analysis expertise. Technical specialization is doubtless important, but I believe there will be a differential value in an MBA that adds a business orientation to technological specialization.