We're living in a connected world. We associate with people world-over through social media channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, Blogs, etc. This is Web 2.0 and we will run into plenty more options to 'Connect' with people.

You must also be getting familiar with a world where you get connected to ‘things’ around you and they have begun to 'understand' you, 'think' for you and 'react' the way you 'like'! When we say ‘things’ it could be your car, watch, oven, lights, fans, gates and even the water sprinkler in your garden! Yes, the sci-fi movies that we grew up with are possibly going to have a rerun, only this time, as a part of our own lives – what with the age of 'Physical Computing' or the 'Internet of Things' (IoT).

Gartner predicts around 26 billion ‘things’ will get connected by 2020. A lot of electronic sensors will be installed in and around 'things' which will send informative data for further processing, so as to take appropriate actions. As more and more ‘things’ get connected, the data generation will correspondingly increase; resulting in a huge data pool coming from different quarters. To make sense of this data and to be able to use it productively, we will use systems to store it, analyze it and generate predictable data before taking further actions.

 

thbs-Launch-of-a-New-Framework- Internet-of-Things-at-THBS

 

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In the age where billions of records of information are created every day, there is a need to effectively use information, as it could potentially be a powerful tool. In the case of Governments, for good governance, information is to be used strategically for public good. Good governance requires, amongst other things, decisions based on "sets of information" or knowledge. Digitization of this information and making it available on a network which is accessible to all individuals opens up possibilities for use of this information by everyone - paving the way for Digital Governance or e-Governance. Digitization of information minimizes human intervention thus making the administrative process more efficient and transparent. The biggest benefits of e-Governance would be the elimination of delays in rendering services and giving its citizens fair and equal access to the Government services/products that make the process more transparent and inclusive.

Mobile phone adoption, as per a survey conducted in 2014, shows the ratio of mobile phone users to 100 inhabitants at around 95% as shown in the graph below (Ref.: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx)

 

GlobalICT eGovernance

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Empowered and informed through digital technology, shoppers today have access to multiple non-store channels to make their purchase decision. These channels are growing rapidly, threatening the existence of the physical store.

With an increase in online-only stores such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba etc., traditional retailers are under threat, as they offer customers personalised deals that undercut the high street prices. Most shoppers however, still visit the store to touch, feel or try a product before using their smartphones to search for the cheapest deal online. The retailers should adapt their strategies to take advantage of this and convert this threat into an opportunity.

Smartphones and superfast connectivity is making customers more digitally connected than ever - retailers will need to rise to the challenge of engaging the new connected customer across the different channels. This new omni-channel shopping experience is redefining the boundaries of retail and is driven by the below key customer trends:

 

CONNECTED CUSTOMERS - DEMAND CHOICE, SOCIALLY CONNECTED,DEMAND CONVENIENCE, IN CONTROL OF TECHNOLOGY, MOBILITY, QUICK ACCESS TO INFORMATION, CONNECTED TO INTERNET, OWN THEIR SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

 

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THBS Digital Economy Road Map - API-Block - Infographic

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As per Wikipedia, mBaaS or ‘Mobile Backend as a Service’, is a model of providing mobile app developers and web developers a way of linking their applications to cloud storage and backend APIs, with also the capability of user management, push notification and integration with third party systems like social media sites, news and other similar data gathering/publishing resources.

Mobile Backend-as-a-Service

The need for such a system has come into existence due to the rise in popularity of smart phones/tablets, demand for high quality mobile apps, rapid app development needs, high performing apps and very importantly, data security

Some prominent vendors who are in the mBaaS space are Parse (now owned by Facebook), Apigee, Backendless, Kii, built.io, Firebase and ones who specialize in the enterprise space are Encore.io, Appear, Appcelerator, AnyPresence, Kidozen, Kinvey & FeedHenry.

Typically the BaaS providers, help ease the laborious task of integrating the front ends with various back ends, using API/SDK stacks. This saves considerable time and money as it provides a uniform way to access & manage the data. The mobile app developers can then focus on building the apps without worrying about the low level tasks. These can be relegated to the mBaaS platform itself. For example the developer can be given an API to send a push notification to various platforms. He will not need to worry about how to implement it and can simply consume the API and be rest assured that the push notification is sent to the concerned devices.




The most common set of capabilities provided by an mBaaS are:

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