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What to expect at RSA 2019

By Katy Liddell, Enterprise Director, O2 UK

Picture San Francisco for a moment. Images of the Golden Gate Bridge no doubt spring to mind. Shrouded in cloud, its iconic image has served the city well, as has its technology, diversity, innovation, and individuality – all characteristics we are passionate about at O2.

But is that really cloud surrounding the bridge? Or is it fog, or actually, could it be mist?  I’m hoping to find out next week at RSA’s annual security conference – the #1 InfoSec event on the planet – and I’d love to see some of you there.

The term cloud-computing was thought to be first coined in San Fran, and as consumers & organisations large and small have rushed to reap the benefits of the cloud, the technology has developed and stratified into nuanced use cases, defined by cloud, fog, & mist.

At O2, the Internet of Things (IoT) & 5G are huge catalysts of change for a connected Britain, and both are intrinsically linked to mist computing. As latency (speed of response) decreases greatly with 5G, then the opportunity for more latency-sensitive applications arises. Let me explain. To our human eye, the interconnected world delivering lightning speed services powered by the web seems complete. Sure, faster speeds for faster downloads will always help (thanks 5G), but actually many mobile applications wouldn’t massively benefit from faster speeds.

However, IoT is not about humans, it’s about things, lots of things. 5G will bring the Internet of Things to life by delivering the computing power ever closer to the application – so less need to travel all the way to San Francisco to store or compute. Low latency applications in driverless vehicles, manufacturing, retail and transportation will explode in the realm of 5G. And O2’s call out to the FTSE 100 in July 2018 has led to leading UK businesses – across the construction, retail, transport and utility sectors – partnering with us to explore innovative 5G use cases. The use cases are anticipated to bring substantial business benefits by delivering efficiency savings while also having the potential to unlock new 5G enabled revenue streams.

So what about the conference? In 2018 the key themes included, Blockchain, skills shortages, AI, GDPR, and of course data security. In 2019, I’m interested in automation, data sovereignty and, IoT, but most importantly I’m interested in how O2 can help our customers stay secure. We’re already providing some great services to our Enterprise customers including threat prevention and advice around building a super cyber team, and increasingly we see the security and communications markets become further entwined as connectivity becomes ever more prevalent in business-critical and regulated solutions.

At O2 we’ve been investing and building our own cyber security since 2014 through our Eleven Paths business – part of Telefonica – Europe’s most admired Telecommunication’s company. At RSA, I’ll be joined by Eleven Paths CEO Pedro Pablo Perez, and Telefonica Global CDO Chema Alonso. So, if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to let me know and I look forward to catching up with you there.



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