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Rapid growth of connected devices expected

Asia-Pacific spending on the Internet of Things would grow to US$9.96 billion next year and by 34.1 per cent per year to $57.96 billion in 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Countries that adopted IoT early are Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and South Korea, but other countries like India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are expected to be some of the fastest growing markets in the next three years.

Andrew Milroy, vice president in the Asia-Pacific ICT practice, said yesterday that drivers of IoT adoption include government efforts to improve economic competitiveness and planners' efforts to address social-demographic challenges in their cities.

"From a technology perspective, the continued efforts to miniaturise and reduce the cost of sensors mean that sensors are expected to be integrated at the chip level and will be found in almost every device and home appliance," he said.

Improved communication infrastructure, coupled with the ready availability of cost-effective compute and storage, such as cloud computing, will help drive development and IoT adoption.

The region is characterised by a large presence of manufacturing economies and has one of the largest production networks in the world. This is expected to drive spending on IoT applications in telematics and supply chain visibility.

IoT spending in manufacturing is expected to rise at a rapid rate of 52.7 per cent a year until 2020.

While logistics and transportation are expected to remain the largest IoT segment for the foreseeable future, the consumer technology segment is expected to experience phenomenal growth in the next three years.

The IoT market is not without its challenges. Security and information privacy are some of the largest hurdles to IoT adoption. With smart and connected devices embedded in business processes and tied to critical functions, the ability to hurt enterprises and individuals is increased significantly.

The lack of standardisation and a data-sharing framework will also inhibit IoT adoption, as it results in fragmented and closed IoT ecosystems, reducing the justification and benefits of investing in IoT solutions.

The challenge of providing sustainable and cost-effective power supply to millions - and in the future billions - of connected devices is likely to affect the feasibility of IoT implementations in specific industries.

The market is expected to continue to grow strongly and develop on multiple fronts, as large industry-specific enterprises continue to invest heavily in IoT technologies, and nimble small enterprises leverage cloud and open source technology to develop innovative business solutions and services.


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