The Internet of Things is the enabler of the 4th industrial revolution that is expected to connect more than 34 billion devices to the Internet by 2020 and is already a multi-billion $ industry.
While nations everywhere, starting with local governments, are introducing cloud-based technologies to their day to day affairs, business opportunities arise every step of the way.
When looking at different countries from an IoT growth potential, Romania could become an internet-driven solutions wonderland.
One of the main reasons the Eastern European country is one of the fastest growing IT markets in the region is due to the deregulation of the telecom sector which allowed for significant investment in the ICT sub-sector. Over the last 15 years, they have developed to the point where Romania now has one of the fastest internet connections in the world.
The activity in the ICT sector is one of the country’s major growth drivers with a forecast of €4 billion by 2020. This is no wonder if we take into consideration the 7,000 students that graduate in the IT field each year. Universities across the country were very receptive to the market’s needs and quickly adapted their educational programmes. In consequence, companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft and telecom players such as Vodafone, Telekom and Orange are provided with an educated and forward-thinking workforce.
Having the means and the knowledge in place paved the way for new technologies to develop. Romanian startups deliver solutions for a whole range of products and services. From Zonga, the four-year-old cloud-based music player to Printivate, the 3D printing optimisation software startup, Romanian incubators provide us with innovative ways to manage the many different aspects of both professional and personal lives.
So far so good, but what should be done with all this potential in order for it to deliver to the masses?
At the national level, policies that offer these technologies a framework in which to develop and spread. The last few years have proved that the real change begins at the city level. In Romania’s case, many of the biggest cities are the ones that deliver the knowledge through universities and more often than not the knowledge and potential, that is the individual, stays in that city. This trend is the main reason cities with IT potential are going to be the drivers for ICT solutions and services, be they private or public.
So, we have the driver for innovation – now what should they do?
Local governments have to have a vision and work together with partners and vendors to deliver on their vision. Whether it’s a better transportation system, more reliable health care, fewer cars in the city or smart grids these are some of the tools that can help cities achieve their vision. Of course, the transformation of any certain system cannot be done overnight. And here is where the Internet of Things comes into the play.
Romania has the knowledge, it needs to put it in the sensors.