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January 1, 2014

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The rising role of IT in physical access control

IBM working on sensors and biometrics based apps as India Inc mobilises potential

You could soon get messages on discounts being offered by shops nearby a mall that you are visiting. Or could even get money from an ATM without a card. These are some of the apps based on sensors and biometrics that IBM’s enterprise mobile division is developing with corporates. (report from Economic Times says)

While the US software major along with Indian real estate major DLF will deploy the app for malls at the latter’s upmarket destination in South Delhi, it is yet to deploy the ATM app based on its analytics in India

The Indian market is very vibrant from the mobile standpoint. There’s a lot of capability being developed here by lots of different industry verticals,” PhilBSE -3.64 percent Buckellew, vice-president, enterprise mobile, IBM Software Group told ET. He said that the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) space in India and telecom are some of the industry verticals which are using apps to reach out to customers apart from better communication with employees. 

“After that, there is manufacturing, IT business,” Buckellew said. There are biometric projects that IBM is working on with Indian customers in the financial services sector.

“Another area which is growing fast in the mobility space is using sensors to detect where you are inside a particular location. We are working with a lot of retailers, not Indians though,” Buckellew said. IBM launched its “mobile first” strategy two years ago, recognising the fact that corporates of all sizes would need to “mobilise” their business, which means, have mobile apps for their businesses.

A study of mobile apps by research firm Gartner revealed that consumer expectations for paid apps are so high that less than 0.01% of them — or one in 10,000 — will be considered financial successes by their developers through 2018.

Over half the companies that IBM spoke with globally don’t have a mobile strategy as of today. In India, it’s roughly similar 73 percent of people who invested in a mobile project saw return on investments. More than half the population surveyed found a 10 percent or greater productivity increase. 20 percent saw greater than 20 percent productivity increase.

“We looked at what patterns are needed in the mobile space, largely based upon what was needed in the web space,” Buckellew said.

BFSI companies need the apps to integrate with their back-end systems. “Instead of having a mobile app which just provides information, you need to be able to conduct business, and that requires linkage back to your systems — your systems of record, your transactional systems that the company has been building for years,” Buckellew added. 

But a major challenge to adoption of mobile apps has been security and the reason why Indian enterprises haven’t so far adopted the bring-your-owndevice concept in a big way like in some other parts of the world.

It’s no longer enough that you put up barriers, firewalls around your enterprise assets. Now, with cloud technologies, you got to secure all aspects,” said Buckellew.

The application, content, documents that go back and forth, as well as transactions — all have to be secured. He said IBM is working with a partner on voice technology which allows one to use voice for passwords .

 

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