Home PublicationsData Innovators 5 Q’s For Andrew Orrock, CEO and co-founder of IOTICS

5 Q’s For Andrew Orrock, CEO and co-founder of IOTICS

by Becca Trate

The Center for Data Innovation spoke with Andrew Orrock, CEO and co-founder of IOTICS. IOTICS is a London-based start-up that uses decentralized data-sharing to help organizations remove siloes and effectively use data while protecting security, privacy, and intellectual property. Orrock spoke about solving sector-specific data-sharing challenges and the value of using a decentralized data-sharing architecture.

Becca Trate: How does IOTICS technology enable organizations to share data in ways that solve real-world problems?

Andrew Orrock: Sharing data across complex ecosystems of organizations, systems, and technologies is challenging yet necessary to drive better decision-making and collaboration toward solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. Data has become our most valuable commodity, but it is often siloed within organizations due to technical, regulatory, or commercial barriers.

IOTICS empowers organizations to share and access valuable data from across their ecosystem or supply chain of partners and collaborators, who can often be commercial rivals, in an environment that is secure, federated, and compliant. Our partners and customers span industries, including defense, utilities, manufacturing, and transportation.

Organizations using IOTICS’ easy-to-deploy data access technology can generate meaningful insights and analysis using contextualized real-time data from across their ecosystem of partners and even competitors. IOTICS federated technology enables each party to maintain their data governance and security, deciding which information they want to share, with whom, and when.

Trate: What are some real-world problems IOTICS technology has solved?

Orrock: We’re proud of the positive impact our partners and customers can provide more quickly and efficiently thanks to their decision to embed IOTICS core technology into their data solutions and programs. Contextualized data from across ecosystems of organizations enables our customers to make real progress in finding solutions to the significant challenges facing individuals, communities, and the planet in 2024.

A great example of IOTICS in action is in the utilities sector, where we are working with Sopra Steria to support their work in customer vulnerability and financial inclusion. One of the challenges the utility sector faces is the accurate identification and subsequent action and support plans for customers living with vulnerabilities, despite mandates from regulators, Ofwat and Ofgem, around data sharing.

Utility companies using solutions with embedded IOTICS technology can securely, and selectively, share relevant customer data with each other in real-time to ensure that in an emergency, like a storm, help gets to those who need it most. It isn’t just about bad weather situations; it’s about providing tailored extra support to customers who need it, for example, being more flexible around payments or making materials more accessible in a relevant way.

Customers benefit from the “share it once” approach. Thanks to the data-sharing connections between utility companies, customers only need to inform one service provider once if they have a vulnerability. This small thing can make a big difference to someone in challenging circumstances.

Trate: How do data sharing challenges differ across industries, and how does IOTICS help companies overcome them?

Orrock: When it comes to sharing data between and across organizations, the challenges are often similar, regardless of industry. Concerns about data privacy and security, protection of intellectual property, integration complexities, and siloed data storage and consumption are among the most common. Despite the growing understanding and belief that sharing information leads to better outcomes for customers, improves the efficiency of the supply chain or ecosystem, and usually as a result benefits people’s lives and the planet, some industries are slower than others when it comes to being open-minded about sharing data in a mixed-trust or zero-trust environment.

With IOTICS technology, organizations can choose who, when, and what they provide access to in terms of their data, and importantly, their data is contextualized and meaningful. IOTICS technology makes data interoperable, meaning insights are easier, more accurate, and useful, driving better-informed decision-making from day one. In most industries, we see this positive impact increasing trust between partners and competitors, resulting in organizations incrementally increasing data access for each other as they create more value and insight from the data they can access across their ecosystem.

In other industries, like defense, we see the development and growth of joint decisions or common working environments, where groups of business units, organizations, or entities need to share information to achieve a shared goal, often set by a shared customer. Using IOTICS technology, these groups or ecosystems can build a secure working environment to collaborate before enabling access to a subset of information or insight to external organizations or individuals at a different security level.

Trate: How does IOTICS’ approach differ from traditional data architecture solutions?

Orrock: Other data-sharing technologies that are centralized require a centralized or agreed approach to governance, storage, and access that all parties within an ecosystem need to sign up for. This is challenging for various reasons, including commercially and as a security risk. We also view centralized governance as a potential block to innovation.

IOTICS’ decentralized approach doesn’t require a single system, architecture, or governance framework that all parties must adhere to. Each organization maintains flexible control of its own virtualized data, and it decides who, when, and what it wants to grant data access to.

IOTICS enables organizations to work cooperatively while maintaining self-sovereignty and flexible control. Our technology enables data owners to protect commercially and strategically sensitive information while providing access and/or consuming useful and contextualized data and insights with other organizations within their ecosystem or supply chain.

Organizations in the same cooperative ecosystem don’t have to have long-standing trusted relationships with each other; they have trust in the approach and underlying security mode. Ultimately, they don’t need to share trust because they control who, how, and what.

Trate: How do you think IOTICS will continue to evolve, and what is the next series of goals for the company?

Orrock: At IOTICS, our core belief is that technology-enabled cooperation can inspire and accelerate societal change for a thriving planet. Our technology exists to empower and enable organizations to rapidly explore, leverage, and exchange data, knowledge, and insights with one another confidently and securely.

New technologies, approaches, and capabilities are being developed by brilliant individuals and organisations all the time. IOTICS will continue to provide how technology that can or could make an impact is adopted at scale. In an increasingly unstable and uncertain world, the importance of bringing together ideas, insights, and impactful interventions has never been greater. We all know this, but the functional, technological, geographic, regulatory, and corporate barriers that exist hold us back. IOTICS will accelerate societal change and support a thriving planet with autonomous interoperability, intelligent cooperation, and fearless innovation, liberating ecosystems to be more impactful.

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