The Internet of Things (IoT) might be a very salient term in the tech industry. Connected-things is now a reality following the recent digital revolution. A GSMA report stated that China will be a global leader for M2M technology with more than 50 million connections to penetrate the market; a Mckinsey report estimated the global IoT market to potentially have a worth between $3.9 and $11.1 trillion by 2025. The aforementioned statistics foregrounding IoT as an important economic tool is just a couple among many others.
Despite the great benefits that can be brought about by the technology, IoT is still an obscure technical jargon to the public and enterprises across different verticals. The adoption of IoT especially in Southeast Asia — although rapidly gaining traction — is not attaining the desired impact and potential it is set to achieve.
Take, for instance, Indonesia. When Telkom Indonesia came up with a series of public services projects ranging from electronic services (i.e. e-office, e-kelurahan, e-puskesmas) to a mobile-based digital media that can respond to citizens’ complaints in 2014, a huge question was posed: are Indonesians ready to deal with IoT?
Tony Seno Hartono, the National Technology Officer of Microsoft Indonesia, assured that people in Indonesia are definitely competent in developing IoT-based devices, although most of them have yet to be professionally involved in it. “Not so many people have realized the huge potential of IoT,” he added.
Hence, it is important for players in the IoT ecosystem such as telcos and solution providers to work together with the public sector to raise awareness and educate end users on IoT technology. While the IoT industry can build momentum such as creating interoperability and security standards for connected devices and machines, the government can exercise leadership by partnering with the private sector, support the ecosystem via funds and grants, facilitate innovations by developing soft infrastructure, and many others.
In short, here is what government and partners can do to advance the growth of the IoT industry:
- 1. CREATE: Roll out a national plan to gain confidence among investors in the IoT venture; establish clear security guidelines to ensure public trust in IoT products;
- 2. EDUCATE: Create demand within end users by encouraging usage of IoT in public and private sectors; spur related projects, e.g. smart cities;
- 3. INVEST: Establish R&D funds and provide financial support in terms of loans, subsidiaries and grants; invest in IoT talent and infrastructure.
Southeast Asia's Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) thought leaders will convene at Jakarta next month for the Asia IoT Business Platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges of IoT and M2M in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The conference is co-hosted by Indonesia's three leading telcos: Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata, with the aim of educating enterprises on the adoption of IoT to grow businesses and drive the market of different sectors.