Changing Everything Even More With IT At NITC 2018


Following the interesting sessions, both common and parallel that we saw at Day 01 of NITC 2018, Day 02 of NITC 2018 started off with an equal or more hype as well.

Providing Mobile Learning for the Digital Economy

This was the opening topic for Day 02 of NITC 2018. It was carried out by Tom Worthington – Honorary Lecturer in Computer Science at the Australian National University. Tom’s presentation revolved around IT professionals using their skills to ensure quality education and learning opportunities for all. Education is an under-recognized specialized area for computer professionals, Tom explained. We need to drive the digital economy through education.

NITC 2018
Tom Worthington delivering his keynote at Day 02 of NITC 2018

Tom went on to talk about the various techniques used in the Australian National University. These include improving the engagement of online students and using responsive web design for M-learning.

In conclusion, Tom summarized that IT professionals should design and deliver mobile learning. He also added that these techniques should be taught to educators in other disciplines and educations systems as well

What is Innovation?

That was the opening question that Heminda Jayaweera – Co-Founder of Venture Frontier Lanka asked from the audience. He went on to explain that Innovation is not something that can be achieved overnight.

Heminda also spoke about how to benchmark Sri Lanka against other countries and also spoke about product design engineering. Compared to basic research, technology or component manufacturing, Product Design Engineering has a very high-value creation, which is ideal if we are to get Sri Lanka out of the middle-income tract. Startups too are another method of contributing to value creation as well.

NITC 2018
Heminda Jayaweera talking about Innovation and high-value creation

Heminda went onto explain that the number one rule in innovation is to start sharing your ideas. If you don’t, you risk your idea dying along with you. He added that when sharing an idea, you should make sure to share it with a diverse set of people. This is to ensure that you get a rounded feedback taking a wide area of perspectives into account.

Using Renewable Energy for wireless sensor networks

Wireless sensor networks are used to monitor a physical source. This can include ground, water, and even air displacement. So what is the deal with energy harvesting for wireless sensor networks? Well that was what Dr. Malintha Wijesundara – Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences at SLIIT.SN has been replaced with Sensing as a Service or S2aaS for IoT.

NITC 2018
Dr. Malintha Wijesundara talking about harvesting energy for wireless sensor networks

With wireless sensor networks replacing Sensing as a Service for IoT, these networks are used in a variety of applications such as monitoring of nuclear power plants, buildings, wearables, bridges, smart power grids, fleet monitoring, smart homes, and water quality monitoring. The problem with these networks is that it needs power.

Why is it a problem? Because the components of these networks require a power source. These are usually batteries. In turn, batteries wear down and need replacement, which can be problematic. This is where energy harvesting comes into play.

NITC 2018
A part of a wireless sensor network in action (Image Credits: AgroClimate)

If you can harvest energy from the surroundings, that can power the sensor for a much longer time duration. Heat, light, vibrations, magnetic fields and motion, all of these can be used to generate energy to power the sensors. Dr. Malintha spoke about JumboNet.LK, a network used to track elephants. Rather than have batteries on the trackers, the tracker has a mechanism that can be charged via kinetic energy that takes place from the movement of the elephant.

ICT Is Changing Everything

Speaking on this was Saman Perera – Senior General Manager of Information Systems at Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. The internet has changed our social behavior, he explained. It has changed the way we interact with each other and do business.

NITC 2018
Saman Perera addressing the gathering at NITC 2018

Saman went on to speak about the emergence of online business based internet technologies. This threatened already existing and established businesses. He also explained about the major technologies changing the world. These range from IoT, AI, Android/iOS, Robotics and process automation. Cloud computing and mobile apps are increasing in popularity as well.

Lessons we can learn from Australia

The session was carried out by Craig Horne – National Vice President of the Australian Computer Society. Craig gave a background about Australian Computer Society and what they do. From there, he spoke about the countries digital economy and Australia’s Digital Pulse exploring Australia’s digital footprint. The report for 2018 focused on Australia’s International competitiveness in ICT.

NITC 2018
Craig Horne talking about Australia’s Digital Pulse and how Sri Lanka can learn from Australia

Using Australia as an example, Craig explained that both Australia and Sri Lanka share similarities in population etc. As such, we could learn from them to improve our own ICT competitiveness as well.

The Parallel sessions, Part 02

Much like Day 01 of NITC 2018, Day 02 of NITC 2018 also broke up into parallel sessions following lunch. The topics discussed at the sessions revolved around the themes of privacy & data protection, to ICT and an Inclusive society etc. Here are the sessions we found interesting.

How do you handle security gaps in cloud deployments?

This was what Wasantha Perera – Founder/CEP at CryptoGen was speaking about. He started off by explaining that 83% of Enterprise workloads will be moved to the cloud by 2020. With companies carrying out cloud migration, security should move to the cloud as well.

NITC 2018
Wasantha Perera talking about handling security gaps in cloud deployments.

From there, Wasantha spoke about some of the biggest cloud security breaches that happened to a telco, large power company, European bank, and finally a large retailer. While cloud migrations may seem like everything becomes automated, in the end, the customer is responsible for managing his/her personal data.

Leading in a digitized world

An interesting topic, this was carried out by Bradley Emerson – Founder/ CEO – Business Athletes. Everything we do Is becoming digital, he explained. As such, leading in a digitized world is an emergence of everything. The world is going to come towards you. As such, the younger generation will be more prepared for this.

NITC 2018
Bradley Emerson talking about leading in a digitized world

Bradley also emphasized that companies will need to look backward from the future. They would have to anticipate where the market is going and get there before they come. “It’s no longer about the big eating the small”, Bradley explained. Rather, it’s about the fast eating the slow. Ultimately, Organizations have to be ready for the future.

Open Banking. So what?

Thilak Piyadigama – Chief Operating Officer at Nations Trust Bank PLC was up next talking about Open Banking API. We spoke about NTB’s Open Banking API a while ago as well. Thilak emphasized that banks should do away with being a fortress and be open to all.

Why? Because connecting your bank with an API can rapidly empower banks to enhance digital offerings. These offerings can be given via an ecosystem of 3rd party applications and services. But in order to do that, the bank would have to be willing to adopt an open strategy.

NITC 2018
Thilak Piyadigama talking about NTB’s Open Banking API

Thilak went on to talk about how open banking is not just for corporates. Rather, it can be used by startups, aggregators, lead generators, eCommerce platforms, IoT payment initiators, ERP vendors, insurance etc.  In short, with Open Banking APIs, the possible use cases are endless. Large and small companies can massively benefit by using APIs to integrate their systems.

Concluding NITC 2018

Much like Day 01 of NITC 2018, the last session and the raffle draw that also took place on the previous day signaled the end of NITC 2018. Overall, it was quite an eventful showcase of how IT changes and is continuing to change everything. How will NITC 2019 be? Well, we can only expect bigger and better things. Till next time, folks.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here