Despite being widely talked about since last year, the Internet of Things (IoT) has yet to fully take off in the Asia Pacific region due to the market fragmentation and varying IT infrastructure maturity in the region.
"While the region consists of countries that are leading IoT developments and adoption such as South Korea and Japan, it has less mature economies too which may not have the right infrastructure in place to enable IoT," said Andrew Milroy, Senior Vice President of ICT Research at Frost and Sullivan at a panel discussion at Communicasia 2015 in Singapore.
The future for connected devices, however, is not bleak for the region as developing countries are increasingly taking steps to embark on IoT and become smart cities, added Milroy. "Interestingly, such countries are taking a bottom up approach - instead of embarking on large-scale IoT projects, local governments are using technology to solve problems specific to a province or state."
For instance, the city of Makassar in Indonesia is using IoT to ease traffic congestion woes. It does so by providing near real-time video feed of traffic at highways and commonly congested roads from CCTVs to road users.
According to panelist Sandy Verma, Senior Director, AT&T Asia Pacific for IoT Strategy, another barrier of IoT adoption is security. To address this, organisations need to understand the components of IoT before deploying security solutions and measures. "You've to first understand that there are four layers of IoT: devices, network, platform, and apps. Afterwhich, you can implement solutions to protect each layer to secure your organisation."
Embarking on IoT projects
When asked for tips on getting started with IoT, Verma suggested the following:
- Start by identifying a business case for an IoT project
- Work on proof of concepts
- Have at least one senior leader to champion the IoT project as such support is vital for the project to take off
- Be patient as IoT projects will be challenging for both IT and business units and may not generate results immediately.
Milroy added that organisations should continue experimenting and conducting trials even if they were to face failures as "a lot of successes are found by accident."
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