The internet is facing the biggest upheaval since its creation over 20 years ago – the switchover to IPv6. To stay regionally and globally competitive, Hong Kong businesses of all sizes need to get familiar with the technology and start planning their transition.
Yet all the evidence indicates that few HK businesses have plans to make the leap to IPv6, and it highlights a worryingly laissez-faire attitude to IPv6 transitioning among organizations which we’re aiming to address with our “IPv6 in Action” plan. This initiative, undertaken with the help of the HKSAR government, features a series of educational materials including a dedicated trilingual web site, consumer guide, seminars for key stakeholders and much more for Hong Kong SMEs and consumers.
Businesses need to be made aware of the fact that IPv6 brings with it a raft of advantages over the legacy IPv4 protocol. These include improved mobile support, auto-configuration for IPv6 devices and better net experience. IPv6 also enhances network performance and efficiency and allows customers to change their ISP without the need to reconfigure their IP address.
This next generation protocol can also be a spur for innovation in your company, supporting exciting new business tools such as video conferencing, voice over IP and e-learning apps.
However, the headline feature of IPv6 is that it offers a near limitless supply of IP addresses – something which will become vital as the next evolution of the net unfolds and every machine from a refrigerator to a car becomes internet-enabled.
This “internet of things” refers to the machine-to-machine communications occurring millions of times per second all over the world between IPv6-enabled devices, independent of human intervention. If most objects in the world can be uniquely identified by their IP address in this way, it could have a profound impact on business, bringing huge improvements in operational efficiency, productivity and automation.
Some have even speculated that this revolution in the internet could transform civilization on a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution.
One great example of how IPv6 is bringing advanced technology and communications tools into our daily lives already is the 2011 World University Games, the “Universiade”, in Shenzhen.