LiSuan Poh is Strong-Bridge’s newest hire in Atlanta, Georgia. She has spent 20 years in technology — creating, realizing, and deploying solutions as well as managing products. Eleven of those years were in wireless. Her varied roles have allowed her to successfully straddle both the technical and business sides of the industry. It’s with this expertise in mind that we invited LiSuan to participate in our “5 Questions” series, in which we probe Strong-Bridge consultants with questions about their area of expertise.
1. WHAT ARE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT WAYS YOU HAVE SEEN THE WIRELESS AND TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES CHANGE OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS?
The wireless industry has changed tremendously in the last five years. On the consumer side, there has been a steady shift from postpaid centric to a segment that is more no-contract and value-conscious. Data usage and video have grown exponentially and will continue to do so. On the business side, we saw Internet of Things emerge, most notably in the automotive and fitness industries. The growth of the IoT will continue to swell. As for more general technology trends, the acceleration of adoption of cloud computing as well as data and analytics are leading the way.
WHAT EXTRA CONSIDERATIONS DOES THIS BRING FOR BUSINESSES?
Security. As we increase the pace of technology and connect more “things” to the Internet, we need to be mindful of security threats. Companies must be maniacally focused on intrusion detection.
2. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITIES YOU SEE FOR BUSINESS BASED ON YOUR FIELD OF EXPERTISE?
There are three opportunities that rise to the surface, and they apply to all segments— big data/analytics, security, and Internet of Things. Each industry will have to assess what this means for their implementation.
3. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES OR OBSTACLES BUSINESSES FACE— BOTH TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE?
The biggest challenges are directly related to the pace of technology. As it accelerates, and as we continue to be inundated with data and information, we have to ask serious questions. How do we deploy against what makes the most business and strategic sense? How do we ensure our people keep up? Can customers keep up? These are really simple questions with very complex answers. Smart businesses have been asking these for a long time, and really never stop answering.
4. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU FIND YOURSELF GIVING MOST OFTEN?
Honestly? I try not to give advice. Advice suggests a casual response based on broad criteria. That’s sort of risky, coming from a professional. Instead, I like to listen, probe, and investigate — focusing on things like capabilities and newness of the technology. That’s how you make sound judgment calls on how deployable “things” are along with some sense of cost, timeline, and key assumptions… BEFORE serving up advice. I try as much as possible to align the strategies and business priorities of the proposed solution. It is always an intense collaboration that is iterative to get where a solution needs to be.
5. WHAT FUTURE TRENDS OR NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
From a totally personal perspective, technology in healthcare is very intriguing. Internet of Things and virtual reality further penetrating this segment has some incredible possibilities. As these technologies commercialize, they become more viable in healthcare, and as patients and stewards of our health, we will soon be able to tap into technologies that allow us to see our total health, and make preventative decisions. Practitioners will be able to tap into these technologies to advance healthcare in incredible ways — such as high-quality virtual reality in surgery.
From a business standpoint, it has been incredible to watch IOT grow. Cloud computing nicely complements IOT and will continue its adoption trajectory curve as well. I can remember nearly 25 years ago when “smart cars” with automated driving were being built and tested. It felt like the future. And now we are living it. As these technologies grow, their application to all kinds of industries becomes more tangible. For instance, the automotive sector really drove (no pun intended) the relevant application of IOT. From here, we’ll see it being pushed into the industrial sector more heavily with “the connected factory.” There are tremendous efficiencies to be realized when IOT is applied there.