On my last trip to Ho Chi Minh City to speak to local vendors, I saw a (personally) surprising leap in the IoT space that I did not expect from the local companies. Most have either deployed, tested or looked into different IoT solutions, especially in the Agriculture, Smart Homes, and Banking sectors. Yet a topic that always comes up is the search for suitable IoT Platforms for their portfolio of products.
So what exactly is an IoT platform?
An IoT platform, simplistically, connects IoT devices with applications, which allows data to be transmitted and interpreted by the applications. With that being said, IoT platforms vary depending on design – some focus on the IoT/M2M connectivity between devices while others also include data analytics capabilities; some are open platforms while others are only meant for proprietary hardware.
There are more than 300 IoT platforms in the current market, and the number continues to grow. One platform can also exist in variance, depending on the company’s business models with regards to the distribution and usage of the IoT platform. The IoT platform market is expected to grow 35% per annum and attain a size of $1.16B by 2020, and the potential is just as big in Vietnam.
Why the need for an IoT platform?
An IoT platform is necessary to let the user have a better overview of their devices, make sense of the data generated and allow IoT operations to be more scalable. Most (commercialised) IoT-related devices in Vietnam right now are separate efforts by different teams within the company that make use of device-to-device connectivity, but vendors (system integrators, telcos and local developers) are looking into platforms that can unify these existing and future IoT/M2M devices.
What are the concerns?
Security of IoT platforms remains the number one concern for vendors and end users alike. With the recent DDoS attacks on IoT devices that caused mayhem (including Internet outages), it is foreseeable that in 2020 with 25 billion connected devices, a successful attack will be detrimental to all stakeholders: loss of data privacy (does that still exist though?), disruption to business, and even security risks at various scales – internal, national, even international.
The potential in Vietnam
The interest in IoT technologies is booming in Vietnam this year, with the government, big tech firms, and startups raving on the potential of IoT as bringing Vietnam forward in its “digital revolution”. Already famed for its software outsourcing business, the tech workforce in Vietnam has the capability to tap into IoT and grow their product portfolio. They are looking for international inspirations, existing use cases, and how they can be applied into their currently fragmented portfolio of products in the IoT ecosystem.
If you wish to connect with Vietnamese companies about your platform solutions, drop us a note and we will get back to you with more details.
Nov 7, 2016