Private-public partnership needed to strike right balance for IoE deployment
Not pipe dreams, technology to achieve futuristic vision already available
MALAYSIA’S public and private sectors need to work hand-in-hand to ensure the wide adoption of the Internet of Everything (IoE), according to a senior executive at US networking giant Cisco Systems Inc.
“The key thing is for both parties to strike a balance – between the legislative long-term view that a country or city has to take, and at the same time, capture the entrepreneurial flair of creating jobs, and driving innovation and change,” Cisco senior vice president of Global IoE/ IoT solutions sales Chris White (pic above) told a media briefing in San Jose last month.
“We are entering a chapter of a lot more public and private partnerships. The days are gone when a city was just the city's responsibility,” he added.
In Cisco’s definition, the Internet of Things (IoT) is about communications between smart devices or ‘things,’ while the IoE adds people, processes and data to the IoT.
With the IoE, cities can experience fewer traffic jams, better efficiencies in public transport, reductions in energy expenses, and more.
For example, when a city installs sensors on its street lights, it would be able to dim the lights when there are no people or moving cars on the street.
Such uses can help local authorities save a substantial amount on energy bills – in a report, Phillips highlighted that 19% of the energy used in cities is on lighting.
Cisco’s White argued that competition today is not just between companies and organisations, because cities are also competing with each other globally.
“In a globalised world, people can work, live or invest in any country they want. This has resulted in cities becoming more globally competitive – local authorities are competing to make their cities the preferred choice to attract talents and investments,” he said.
To attract these talents and investments, local authorities need to look at how IoE can improve the quality of living in the city.
For example, by integrating information gathered from weather and traffic sensors, they would be able to predict when and where traffic police should be placed to reduce jams.
By having sensors for all public transportation, they would be able to know when the next bus would be arriving at a particular station, how crowded that particular bus is, and how long it will take for the next bus to arrive.
Also, when sensors that monitor a person’s health (by measuring heartbeats or blood pressure, for example) are integrated with hospitals, these sensors would be able to alert the nearest hospital that a person is having a heart attack, so that the ambulance can come immediately, even before the person calls for help.
With sensors on the ambulance, authorities would also be in a position to programme the traffic lights so that it is able to reach the patient speedily.
No pipe dreams, but the reality
The examples above are not farfetched ideas, according to White, adding that the technology to do all that is already available today.
Cisco Malaysia country manager Albert Chai (pic) concurred.
“The possibilities of the IoE are no longer technological aspirations of the future – they are the real-life practical solutions of today,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA).
He said that the IoE brings a lot of opportunities for the country, both its private and public sectors, as it can boost the competitiveness of the country and organisations significantly.
“The IoE can provide the Government with the data and information that will completely transform the way it governs and engages with citizens,” said Chai.
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“In Malaysia alone, the IoE is expected to drive a staggering value of US$64 billion over the next 10 years, with US$11 billion of it coming from the public sector.
“By connecting public facilities and amenities to the Internet, Malaysia can accelerate and establish the foundation for building next-generation citizen’s services, and realise this projected value,” he added.
The US$64 billion value is based on the ability to ensure lower costs and higher revenues from IoE strategies and applications.
Chai said he believes that IoE strategies will fit in nicely with Malaysia’s aspirations.
“It complements the efforts by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) of the Prime Minister’s Department to provide Malaysians access to improved public services through the implementation of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP),” he said.
He added that the IoE also gives public sector leaders an opportunity “to act rather than to react,” as cities would be able to improve the quality of citizens’ lives.
“Services that can improve the quality of citizens’ lives include transportation, law enforcement, education, water and energy,” said Chai.
Goh Thean Eu reports from the Cisco Global Editors Conference in San Jose at the invitation of Cisco Systems Inc. All editorials are independent.
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