SAP CIO discusses key trends driving IoT in Asia

According to a report by Frost & Sullivan, Internet of Things (IoT) adoption in Asia Pacific is expected to grow to US$57.96 billion by 2020

Smart cities, real-time communication and cybersecurity constitute several of the key drivers and ‘talking points’ with regard to the growing the Internet of Things market in a so called “hyper connected” Asia.

According to Manik Narayan Saha, CIO at SAP Asia Pacific & Japan, the increasing number and availability of very low cost, low power consuming sensors lowers the barrier to create “smart cities” with price points of these digital age technologies continuing to drop.

Saha adds that more than technology, it is “archaic” regulation and bureaucracy that will pose challenges to the development of smart cities.

He notes that in Singapore, the smart city infrastructure is being collaboratively built up. Under the direction of Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), several initiatives are reviewing the infrastructure connectivity requirements that will form the foundation to of the country’s future the smart cities.

The IDA’s Smart Nation initiative involves pulling together its universities and medical facilities, annual research and development (R&D) investments, a fast-growing community of tech start-ups and large pools of investment capital.

It also centres on the government and private sectors using technology holistically to bring about better lives and greater business opportunities.

Communications and IoT data security

SAP’s CIO states that the widespread adoption of IoT tech will drive the market for faster, more effective means of communication.

Last-mile connectivity will be one of the most significant challenges facing the IoT industry in future. Communication technologies commonly used by IoT developers today include Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and emerging technologies such as ZigBee, 6LowPAN.

Factors such as range, data requirements, security, power demands and battery life, says Saha, will be the considered when selecting a communications technologies, whether a single solution or a combination of systems.

According to a news report by the Stack, LTE and 4G networks, dominating the IoT space, have more capacity and faster data rates and will enable low-cost, low bit-rate services.

Saha suggests that with the anticipated development and adoption of 5G technology, Singapore will be able to leverage the latest in communications tech with increased capacity and bandwidth.

Lastly, when it comes to customer privacy, Saha’s opinion is that consumers will “ultimately determine the tipping point at which they are willing to give up a certain level of information to gain from it.”

He explains that, no business can guarantee complete privacy, as a result of cyber-criminals and hackers wanting to gain access to information, “however, it’s important for business providers to provide assurance about how their customer data is being managed.”