3 essentials towards capitalising on Asia Pacific’s IoT supremacy
By Justin Chiah April 21, 2017
- In Singapore, 93% of organisations are planning to or already have IoT in place
- Fifty percent of Asia Pacific organisations have enjoyed gains in business efficiency and innovation
THE Internet of Things (IoT) has come a long way since ATMs, one of the first-ever connected objects, went online in 1974.
More than three decades later, IoT continues to dominate the landscape as the world economy moves towards a hyper-connected reality. Smart devices are taking the wheel — literally, in the case of Singapore’s self-driving taxis.
For digitally ambitious enterprises, the true value of IoT lies in enhanced business efficiency, higher profitability, and purposeful innovation. This rings especially true in Asia Pacific, a region IDC envisions to be the frontline of IoT by 2020.
Companies are increasingly looking to capitalize on this opportunity, and a recent global IoT study by Aruba titled The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow found that 50% of organisations in Asia Pacific have enjoyed significant gains in business efficiency and innovation, while a healthy 74% have experienced some form of increase in profitability through the adoption of IoT strategies.
For these reasons, we are seeing more and more organisations across healthcare, retail, education and industrial sectors in Asia Pacific adopting IoT infrastructure for a multitude of applications.
And the numbers reflect this enthusiasm for IoT: 60% of organisations in this region already have an IoT strategy in place while 26% are expecting to roll one out in the next 24 months. In Singapore, 93% of organisations are planning to or already have IoT in place.
Despite the rapid progress made on IoT in the region, only one in every four business leaders expressed full confidence in their organisation’s level of IoT preparedness, hinting that companies in Asia-Pacific are not yet equipped to leverage IoT’s full potential.
As companies in Asia-Pacific undergo a digital transformation, they need to scale their business strategies to cope with the technological advancements and new digital demands. Here are three key considerations to keep in mind when planning your organisation’s IoT deployment that will help maximise investment and deliver enhanced performance capabilities to meet customer needs.
Robust storage to cope with volume and velocity of IoT data
According to British technology pioneer Kevin Ashton, IoT is the ability to capture and effectively use data. Although nearly all organisations in the region claim to be able to analyse IoT data, the same majority face challenges in creating value from it and struggle to manage massive volumes of data from multiple devices.
Legacy storage systems are increasingly irrelevant in today’s IoT environment, and scaling them to match the volume and velocity of IoT data is becoming every IT manager’s nightmare.
In this landscape, organisations need to assess if their existing storage infrastructure has the capacity to store the massive amount of data as well as the capability to efficiently combine and analyse data from different sources. This is a vital first step for organisations looking to reap the benefits of IoT.
Intelligent edge architecture for scalable IoT
Understandably, more than half of organisations in Asia Pacific have cited costs of implementation and maintenance as key barriers that prevent them from creating new business values through IoT.
Many companies that relied on a centralised cloud-based business model for IoT only realised its hefty price tag after experiencing many years of high costs with no revenue.
Here is where edge computing comes in. Moving computing power to the network location helps slash costs related to data management and operations while delivering the low latency, proximity, and high bandwidth perfect for time-sensitive and data-intensive applications.
Intelligent edge takes it a step further by allowing systems to make operational decisions at the collection point. This will ultimately allow organisations to scale according to their needs and accelerate IoT initiatives cost-effectively.
Holistic security strategy spanning the entire IoT ecosystem
With 88% of businesses in Asia Pacific suffering at least one IoT-related breach, security is undoubtedly the biggest challenge for IoT.
Consider an IoT ecosystem with 10,000 devices and sensors. That is 10,000 additional points of vulnerability you need to worry about it.
Putting processing power to the edge of networks may offer some protection for an enterprise’s IoT ecosystem but that is not enough, especially with malicious attackers waiting to jump at the first sight of a security loophole.
Organisations should have a holistic approach to security, one built on a robust network access control and policy management that secures both the network and the thousands of devices that are a part of it, while simplifying security operations at the same time.
Having complete visibility into your network also goes a long way in helping to efficiently pinpoint any existing vulnerabilities and predict potential breaches. With more powerful data networks available as IoT development continues, enterprises can now easily extract the full value of IoT.
Fine tuning business efficiency and scaling up operations has become a necessity as more organisations adopt smart IoT solutions. These make for exciting times in Asia Pacific, especially in Singapore where IoT is one of the pillars for the nation's Smart Nation initiative.
As Singapore positions itself as a key IoT hub in the region, it will be vital for organisations to continually stay on top of their IoT strategy in order to beat the competition.
Justin Chiah is the director and general manager, South East Asia and Taiwan at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
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