23 Apr 2018

A RIoT of Insights


Trends, threats and opportunities for the Internet of Things
As the world gears up for Industry 4.0, find out what these experts at the IoT Asia 2018 conference had to say about the prospects and risks associated with the Internet of Things

Emerging technologies have a tendency to bring down borders. With the Internet of Things (IoT), it is the borders between the physical and the digital realms that are coming down, as connected devices can now monitor the physical world and send data over the internet to be analysed for actionable insights.

At the IoT Asia 2018 conference, which ran from 21 to 22 March 2018 at the Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre, leaders of companies and countries alike gathered to discuss the trends and threats of IoT. Here we feature some of the key lessons shared by experts at the event.

Riding the IoT wave

Like a rising tide that floats all boats, IoT has the potential to uplift the entire digital economy, said panellists speaking at the discussion on ‘Raising the Game for Industry Transformation in Asia—What’s At Stake’. By bringing together the domains of computing, the cloud, analytics, hardware design and user interface, IoT has the potential to create value by streamlining processes, making them more responsive to changes in demand and supply. Unsurprisingly, IoT is considered a strong growth industry over the next few years.

“The worldwide market [for IoT] is expected to grow from almost US$600 billion in 2014 to US$1.3 trillion in 2019, with an annual growth rate around 17 percent. That’s not something you can expect from many sectors,” said Carolyn Atkinson, counsellor (political-economic), Australian High Commission, Singapore.

She also noted that Australia, Singapore and the rest of the ASEAN region are moving towards a new industrial development model—one that not only withstands and embraces disruption, but is actively based on innovation. A big part of this new model is the connection of physical assets to the digital world with IoT, making IoT a key element of Industry 4.0.

Manufacturing success

IoT promises to help usher in Industry 4.0 by making manufacturing more efficient and productive. As the manufacturing capital of the world, Asia has the opportunity to lead the world in terms of IoT adoption in this sector, said Ani Bhalekar, IoT/Industry X.0 and Mobile Lead for ASEAN+, Accenture.

“The three M’s of manufacturing are materials, manpower and machinery. Companies in Asia can tap on industrial IoT to optimise their machinery, fine-tune their materials tracking and upskill their manpower... We’re seeing a lot traction where Asian companies can literally be the forerunners in this game,” he added.

Nonetheless, Bhalekar reminded the audience not to get carried away with the technology but stay focused on what IoT can do for business. “IoT is about outcomes, not about the shiny new toy that your enterprise is going to use,” he said, adding that it is critical to identify the use case or business need before adopting and implementing IoT.

Building walls and bridges

In addition to finding the right fit for IoT, Dr Claus Habfast, Municipal Councillor and Vice President, Greater Grenoble City Area, France, thinks that cybersecurity has to be a key component of IoT-backed solutions.

“Security has to be built into each device from scratch, not just added afterwards as an additional layer,” he said. Dr Habfast also emphasised the need to secure the data stored on the cloud, since hackers often seek to steal data, which is now regarded as the ‘new gold’.

Last but not least, collaboration was a resounding theme of the IoT Asia 2018 conference. Through coalitions and partnerships, the likelihood of IoT-based solutions to scale up from proof-of-concept studies to full-fledged systems is increased, said Arndt Husar, Deputy Director, Global Centre for Public Service Excellence, United Nations Development Programme, Singapore.

“We don’t want experiments that are boxed in… [because] even if we prove that something is successful, we still need to convince all the stakeholders that this is something to be embraced,” he said. “It is better to have an iterative approach, with very open engagement of various stakeholders.”

This is in the spirit of open innovation, where business owners and technological solutions providers come together to co-create better products and services. If you are an enterprise seeking to grow your business through technology and innovation, IPI Singapore stands ready to help. Reach out to us today!

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