Board of Directors – 20th anniversary Q&A
Stéphanie El Rhomri - GlobalPlatform Secretary / Treasurer
With GlobalPlatform’s 20th anniversary celebrations in full swing, Secretary / Treasurer of the board, Stéphanie El Rhomri, gives her thoughts about the association’s achievements over the past two decades.
- What do you think is GlobalPlatform’s greatest achievement so far?
Without hesitation, the certification program. Developing this program was beneficial to GlobalPlatform as a whole, bringing clarity to the specifications, and providing a common resource for vendors to ensure the readiness of their product. It has been a real interoperability enabler for service providers resulting in the widespread adoption that we see today.
- Which GlobalPlatform technology do you think has had the greatest impact and why?
The Secure Element (SE) remains the foundation of GlobalPlatform because of its maturity, and its penetration in various markets, from telecoms to identity and payments. Having said that, the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is proving to be a game changer and as an organization we are very proud to have brought forward the very first public specifications available to the mobile industry.
We look forward to continuing our work to develop all our technologies in line with market requirements in the future.
- Which sectors do you think GlobalPlatform has added the most value to in the last two decades and why?
Telecoms is the sector where most SIM cards shipped globally are now based on GlobalPlatform frameworks - and more and more mobile devices are integrating a TEE. Shipment figures from Eurosmart suggest that over 35 billion GlobalPlatform-certified Secure Elements (SEs) have been shipped since 2010.
Additionally, payments is another industry where GlobalPlatform has provided real benefit. It is an area that leverages both SE and TEE technology in a range of ways, from bank cards through to mobile payments and mPOS acceptance. None of this would be possible without foundational standardized security to protect valuable financial assets.
- Which sectors do you think will be the biggest source of growth for GlobalPlatform technology in the future?
With digitalization and the expansion of the IoT, there is growing demand for security in identity, transportation, healthcare and industry - all these industries represent opportunities for GlobalPlatform. Moreover, with the IoTopia framework announcement, GlobalPlatform now has a solution for the entire ecosystem.
- What do you think are the greatest opportunities for the connected device ecosystem today?
There are so many opportunities in so many different markets, all of them will bring value and I’m not sure I’m able to judge which add the most value. Take healthcare for instance, we could improve patient care by connecting medical devices, while in vertical markets we could improve productivity and efficiency with predictive maintenance by connecting sensors on assets.
So much of the world around us will be impacted by digital transformation, GlobalPlatform is here to ensure that these developments can thrive in a trusted, interoperable way.
- What do you think are the greatest challenges facing the connected device ecosystem today?
Bringing trust to the IoT between so many stakeholders is a huge challenge facing connected industries, though this is definitely an area in which GlobalPlatform will continue to provide value.
Increasingly, regulations for IoT devices are being put in place globally. IoTopia will provide IoT stakeholders with a framework which will ensure that their devices meet these regulations, ultimately saving all associated parties time, money and stress.
- As the IoT continues to grow, how do you think education can help with the creation of secure digital services and devices?
Education will certainly avoid fragmentation. If we can show the various markets that the technology they need is already available, we will avoid technology fragmentation, ensure interoperability between the numerous stakeholders and facilitate mass deployment of all digital markets.
- After 20 years of creating fully collaborative and open ecosystems, how do you feel GlobalPlatform will evolve in the future?
GlobalPlatform will continue to provide standards. Additionally, in our position as a neutral industry association, GlobalPlatform has an important role to play in establishing a level of trust between all interested parties in the increasingly complex digital ecosystem. In particular, GlobalPlatform can bring its 20 years of experience on secure technology to a wide range of markets so that they don’t need to become cybersecurity companies or experts themselves.