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Enterprise IoT Summit: IoT in the Board Room

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IoT in the Board Room

Dr Homaira Akbari, Board member, Gemalto and President, AKnowledge Partners takes the stage for the “IoT in the Board Room’ plenary session at the Enterprise IoT Summit in Austin, Texas.

Homaira Akbari explained what board are thinking of Internet of Things (IoT) and its strategies to implement this technology.

“The biggest priority for boardrooms is exercising risk oversight and compliance,” the executive said. Other top priorities are facing cyber security risks, the disruptive elements of IoT, the threat of dis-intermediation and the cultural shift in an age of disruption, she added.

“Everybody is spending a lot of money in cyber security and is becoming part of the company’s culture. Any company willing to do business with you have to show that they have a sound cyber security strategy and tools in place,” she said.

Akbari said that every boardroom is aware of the importance of IoT, event those boardrooms who are not directly impacted by this technology. “Three years ago, many boardrooms were not even discussing IoT but that has changed now,” she said.

The executive also said that IoT technology offers a number of opportunities for companies such as creating a disruptive customer intimacy through connected relationships, providing higher customer services through efficient and real-time operations and processes, and changing the model of its business to take advantage of the IoT shifts and monetize these value shifts.

 

Dr. Homaira Akbari is currently President and CEO of AKnowledge Partners, LLC, a global strategy advisory firm providing services to leading private equity funds and large corporations in the sectors of Internet of Things, Cyber Security, Big Data and Analytics, and Supply Chain Visibility. A thought leader in the mobile, software and security sectors, she brings extensive operating experience and deep domain knowledge to a broad range of high-tech industries. She draws on her international track-record including nine years of professional experience in Paris, London, Beijing and Cape-Town. Dr. Akbari serves on the Board of Directors of several Fortune 500 companies including Banco Santander S.A. (NYSE: SAN), Landstar System, Inc. (NASDAQ: LSTR), Gemalto N.V. (Euronext: GTO), and Veolia (Euronext: VIE). Dr. Akbari has held senior management roles in Fortune 1000 companies including: Microsoft, Thales, SA, and Liberty Media subsidiary, Trueposition. Dr. Akbari has served as the President and CEO of SkyBitz, Inc., a leading provider of remote asset tracking and security solutions. Under her leadership, the company had record performance. She successfully sold SkyBitz to Telular Corporation (NASDAQ: WRLS). Dr. Akbari holds a Ph.D. with honors in particle physics from Tufts University and an MBA with distinction from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. She is the author of numerous scientific and industry articles, two patent-pending inventions, and a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She is fluent in several languages including English, French, Farsi, and Spanish (conversational). Dr. Akbari’s many accolades include being named by Washington Business Journal as among its list of “Women Who Mean Business.” Additionally, she was the recipient of several awards including: “SmartCEO Brava! Award”, the “Business Leader of the Year Award”, and the “NOVAEXEC Top 10 Business Women”. In 2012, she was awarded the Women in Technology “Global Impact Award.” Throughout her life, Dr. Akbari has been active in and a contributor to many non-profit organizations. She currently serves as the Chair of Johns Hopkins University Physics and Astronomy Advisory Council. Together with her husband, they have established Akbari-Mack Postdoctoral Fellow Endowment in Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University.

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