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Rounding out the IoT ecosystem in 2016

Glen Burrows, Area Vice President, Dell OEM, Asia Pacific and Japan | Feb. 5, 2016
As IoT continues to make headway in Asia Pacific, Glen Burrows of Dell shares his thoughts through this byline on the five big areas of development that we can expect in 2016 when it comes to IoT.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

At the beginning of 2016, we see an Internet of Things (IoT) technology segment that is incipient and supercharged with potential. Analyst firm IDC estimates that there will be 8.6 billion 'things' connected in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) IoT industry by 2020, accounting for approximately 29 percent of the world's connected devices. The APeJ market, it predicts, will be worth US$583 billion by 2020, up from US$250 billion in 2015.

Development of standards and a common framework continues apace at industry associations such as the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) and the OpenFog Consortium, and connected cars and home appliances were showcased at CES 2016, the first major tech event of the year. Governments in the Asia-Pacific region have also embraced IoT as a way to improve quality of life for their residents. Singapore has its Smart Nation vision, South Korea has the Songdo International Business District (Songdo IBD) in Seoul, while China has a Smart City program.

The coming months will see greater enterprise efforts to instill order on the massive breadth, complexity and potential of IoT. 2016 will see increased enterprise adoption, a push toward better interoperability and more efforts to make sense of data quickly and efficiently through edge computing and big data analytics. In addition, there will be growing pains as enterprises attempt to keep data safe. 

2016: The year of enterprise IoT adoption 
IoT hype peaked in consumer markets in 2015. According to Accenture, we are seeing a slump in sales for once-buzzworthy, consumer IoT devices, such as fitness trackers, and growing interest in commercial IoT products. As awareness grows in the enterprise about the returns on investment, efficiency, and productivity that IoT can bring, commercial IoT solutions will gain traction. Early adopters are already reaping benefits from IoT.

In China, the Fujian University of Technology analyses position and speed data from 120,000 public vehicles to help shape the Smart City Transportation strategy in Fujian province, while in India, Chitale Dairy has tagged every cow and buffalo so that individual behavior can be tracked and addressed as required.

We believe that food security is one of the key challenges that will need to be solved in the coming years. IoT solutions can be used to optimise crop yields and water usage especially in hydraulic intensive farming such as rice cultivation.

Interoperability will be a focal point
This year, interoperability becomes a focus, though finalised standards will be further down the road. As IoT solutions become an integral part of enterprise budgets, businesses will begin to demand more protection for their expanding investments. As a result, interoperability and standardization initiatives will consolidate, thus decreasing complexity and encouraging innovation. The process has begun. Late last year, the OIC acquired almost all the assets of the Universal Plug and Play Forum, while an IoT Standards Outline in support of Singapore's Smart Nation initiative was introduced in August 2015.


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