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Automation is must for data-driven decisions

Richard Baker, CEO, Geospock

With the advent of 5G, IoT devices around cities will be able to show their true potential.

One of the biggest changes that we have seen in recent times is that people are now embracing technology, rather than fearing it. This has made our solutions more acceptable to the general public. This change of mindset has been more apparent in the last decade, as smart cities around the world begin to develop and gain in terms of popularity. Governments are now more open to implementing geospatial technology; brands are beginning to understand its benefits; and citizens are starting to gain awareness of its use cases and how this technology affects their everyday life.

In this day and age, automation is necessary for every business, particularly in the geospatial world. Scalability means having highly automated processes in place. We deal with extreme scales of time and location data, and so, it is quite impossible to churn out insights without Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. With the explosion of smartphones and sensors that create extreme amounts of data, it is essential to have automation to unlock new use cases and make data-driven decisions the norm.

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Potential of connectivity

Technology is core to what GeoSpock does – the technology that we have built will continue to thrive and increase in relevance as cities and governments become more digitized. With the advent of 5G, IoT devices around cities will be able to show their true potential. Its unique combination of greater connectivity and increased processing power will support smart transport infrastructure such as connected vehicles, smart post lamps and efficient train routes, where a split-second delay could mean the difference between a congested or smooth flow of traffic, making cities and governments far more efficient.

As we continue to innovate and grow within the market, R&D is and will remain a significant investment within our organization. It is our key focus to ensure we grow and enable our clients to be seen as innovators in the market. This will also enable us to continue to grow our market share.

Power of transparency

In today’s time, companies can remain innovative despite data privacy concerns among consumers. In any device, a sensor generally only takes anonymous movement or tracking data instead of personal information. However, there needs to be a shift in the mindset: instead of seeing it as a privacy issue, both businesses and consumers should start seeing how data sharing can benefit them in terms of better customer experience and personalization.

It has been said to death, but transparency is indeed crucial. Internal and external communication with partners, investors and customers should be done on a constant basis. However, there is only so much businesses can do, as it is a two-way partnership between businesses and consumers. Transparency would not make much of a difference if consumers already have a fixed level of mistrust towards businesses. Thus, a shift in mindset is the need of the hour.

Impact of slowdown

The global economic slowdown has impacted our business – both in a good and bad way. We see an opportunity for geospatial technology to thrive in businesses and governments, but we also observe some challenges. I think our largest challenge is fundamentally to move away from the technology discussion and work with businesses and governments around the world to help them achieve their goals. Most political and corporate leaders are already beginning to focus on what are the benefits to citizens, what are the benefits to organizations and ultimately what are those use cases that this connected physical Internet market really brings to us.

That leads us into a conversation around how many of those governments and enterprises really do have data-first strategies that account for location analytics and location insights as part of their design blueprint. As clichéd as it may sound, every cloud has a silver lining. So, some things can work in our favor even in an economic downturn.

Efficient use of geospatial technology can help in minimizing the impact of a global recession. One example is the waste sector, which has for long been a standalone industry. Like other aspects of city management, it is one of the last of the core city services to be automated or brought online, with most waste sector operations being manual and offline. Connecting everything and integrating it into the smart city systems will open up new possibilities for expanded features and functionality. As IoT coupled with geospatial technology brings everything together – from energy, utilities and traffic management to street lighting and waste operations – under one smart management dashboard, the future of smart waste management is in integration.

Different market, different needs

Our hiring strategies can be summed up in one sentence: no two markets are the same. We have recently opened office in Japan, but we are still trying to understand the market and the current demand and supply of local talent. What works in the UK may not necessarily work in Asia, and vice versa. The number of people in geospatial tech industry may also differ depending on the tech and talent maturity in each market. These challenges are amplified in a fast-paced era like ours — once we figure out how to overcome a current market challenge, new challenges emerge, making the previous issue irrelevant.
In this scenario, most employers and HR leads are still trying to pinpoint the necessary skillsets of their current employees by identifying the skills required of their future workforce. By the time they figure out exactly what is needed in their employees, it’s often too late to set aside the necessary resources – time and money – into reskilling. The difference between GeoSpock and other companies is that we are a geospatial technology company from Day 1. We knew the kind of people we want to hire, despite the challenges we faced in terms of lack of talent in countries where we work. 

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