The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking the entire world by storm. While the predicted range is wide, McKinsey recently forecast the IoT market to be worth US$11 trillion by 2025. IoT, however, is still a work-in-process, which means many companies, and many countries at at very different stages in development.
While some countries host the world’s leading technology companies, other countries see a faster adoption of some of the latest IoT solutions. Southeast Asia is proving to be a market leader for IoT around the world. Hosting many of the leading companies and having a huge potential market both in terms of consumers and enterprise, combined with governments who are aggressively pursuing the benefits of IoT, the region is currently ahead in the race to be the world’s leaders in implementing IoT.
The APAC region is one of the fastest growing IoT markets around the world. Frost & Sullivan forecasts spending on IoT in Asia Pac to hit US$79 billion by 2020. The market offers great opportunities in areas of logistics, manufacturing, transportation, and consumer technology, all segments which are expected to continue their fast growth.
Within Southeast Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines are the countries with the greatest investments in IoT, with Singapore and Malaysia being more advanced in deploying IoT. Together, the two countries are educating the rest of the region about the benefits of this technology and how best to create public-private ecosystems which encourage growth.
Smart Cities, manufacturing, automotive, transport and ag tech are the market segments with the highest levels of interest, investment, and growth.
SEA to be the market leader?
Within the broader APAC region, Southeast Asia is set to become the market leader for the entire world. This rise of IoT is driven by three key factors, consumer demand, manufacturing growth and the role of governments.
Southeast Asia is packed with population-dense cities including Ho Chi Minh (12.8 mil), Jakarta (10.1 mil), Bangkok (8.3 mil), and Singapore (5.4 mil). In fact, the region consists of 26 cities with populations with over a million people. In turn, these hug urban SEA populations lay the basis for the massive “consumer demand” that will continue to drive the rise of IoT.
Urban areas account for more than 65% of the region’s GDP and according again to McKinsey, will attract over an additional 90 million people by 2030. When it comes to Southeast Asia, it’s not just a bigger slice for the IoT market, it’s about a bigger pie.
The growing populations of the region’s urban cities will increase consumer demand, especially for services like smart homes and connected cars. This increase in population will also result in infrastructure investment which is already being planned in-line with “smart city” concepts and the resulting increases in commercial activity, which will further increase the demand for enterprise and industrial IoT applications including ag tech.
SEA’s countries are also one of the fastest growing markets when it comes to smartphone penetration and teledensity. The increasing number of mobile connections and strong telecom operators will both play a key role in accelerating and supporting the growth of the IoT market.
The sharp growth in the population and consumer technology market within this region has led to the region leapfrogging to Industry 4.0. This term, coined in Germany, can very well be applied to this region and is being driven by a digitized and connected manufacturing sector.
The region has focused on agriculture, and is now moving towards manufacturing. Both sectors pose huge demands for IoT. As the region continues its growth in its industrial and manufacturing sectors, which are well supported by a huge local demand for products and an adequate ecosystem for the industry, we can only expect a surge in the demand for Industrial IoT.
Role of Governments
If we look at the past, governments have played a key role in the growth of new industries and also the slowdown in adoption of new technologies. An example? The protection of telcos from OTTs in certain markets.
Fortunately for this region, Southeast Asia hosts open-minded and forward-thinking governments who are pursuing IoT very aggressively with clear plans, roadmaps and even dedicated budgets. In fact, this pursuit is strong enough for them to already begin forecasting what percentages of future GDP will be come from the IoT sector.
The Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MIMOS), for example, launched the National IoT Strategic Roadmap in July 2015 to drive adoption of IoT. This is expected to contribute 9.5 billion ringgit (US$2.49 billion) to the country’s gross national income by 2020, and 42.5 billion ringgit by 2025.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the Philippines launched “Smarter Philippines” in 2013 with the idea of boosting economic growth via technology. As part of the program, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo announced Cauayanto be the first of 144 cities in the Philippines to become a “smarter city.”
The growing customer demand with diverse technology needs, the increasing number of devices, a surging manufacturing/industrial sector and governments that consider technology to be a top priority make the perfect mix to create an ecosystem that will foster IoT growth, setting the Southeast Asia region to be the market leader for this industry in the entire world.