MP Do you feel that Canada has positioned itself well to be a leader in the new sectors opened up by IoT?

Robert Herjavec: Canada is generally a year or so behind our neighbours to the South in terms of our adoption of technology. The costs of technology for both consumers and enterprises alike are higher here. Cost slows progress. Industry in Canada is certainly moving to adopt IoT and we will continue to reap the benefits. In order to see further adoption I believe we have to make it easier for businesses to understand the benefits of IoT tech. We need to demonstrate how leaders can make use of improved analytics and leverage the advanced data available from connected devices in order to make more informed decisions. It is also our responsibility to keep security in mind. With more connectivity and more endpoints comes more risk. Enterprises must consider their security posture and the enhanced scope of their environment with more and more connected devices blurring the lines of the personal and professional worlds.

MP Are people underestimating the impact of these technologies?

MP: The power of IoT is organizations who understand the information generated from the connected devices will be able to leverage it to predict the future.  Our devices are providing indications of our habits and of our potential actions, before we’re even faced with the opportunity to choose for ourselves. If I have insight into your personal data, regular activities, and habits I may be able to correlate it all and determine if you would be a strong potential candidate before I even bring you in for an interview. Or, with the appropriate health information I could decide if I should offer you a lower insurance premium.

The primary misconception I see is the average consumer assumes that as this technology is invented, security and safety are part of the design. That’s not always the case and so we need to safeguard ourselves by leveraging unique passwords, not logging on or transacting on public networks, limiting what’s connected to our home network, and not mixing personal and professional devices. At the enterprise level it’s even more challenging. At Herjavec Group we are responsible for securing highly complex, enterprise environments. In order to assess and address the security risks facing an organization we have to consider the full scope of the people, processes, and technology in place. As IoT continues to optimize how our corporations operate, security solutions also need to become more efficient and be embraced.

MP When you look ten or fifteen years into the future, how transformative do you see IoT technology being?

MP: To most generations, what we can do with mobile technology today is absolutely incredible. Think about the last time you were with a grandparent and demonstrated that Facetime allowed them to connect face-to-face with another relative who was travelling, or lives on the other side of the world. They were awestruck I’m sure! Magic! But, for the youth of today, Facetime is the norm. It’s the electricity argument — we just expect technology to make our lives easier and we demand seamless connection. IoT is absolutely a paradigm shift in the way the telephone and the Internet were because it’s changing the game in terms of what is connected, how we respond to technology, and what we expect from our devices — including but not limited to content, interconnectivity, insight, and analytics.