Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved from a buzzword or concept to execution. Governments, companies and consumers in APAC have increasingly adopted IoT. Despite being an economically developed market, Hong Kong lags behind its counterparts in the region in IoT maturity.
IDC estimated there will be 8.6 billion connected devices in APAC with market opportunity at nearly US$510 billion by 2019.
Of the 13 markets surveyed by the research company, Australia leads APAC in terms of IoT maturity with an estimated 8.5 IoT units per capita (person) by 2019. Hong Kong is ranked ninth with 1.7 IoT units per capita, falling behind Taiwan and China. India is the least IoT mature market.
“IoT is poised for growth in various industries. Hong Kong is relatively lower in IoT maturity in APAC,” said Charles Anderson, VP and head of mobility & IoT of IDC Asia Pacific at the IoT Forum 2016 in Hong Kong last week.
He explained that a lot of manufacturing plants had relocated to Shenzhen and other parts in China. Hong Kong is strong in financial services but this vertical does not yet have a huge IoT adoption. There are some IoT solution deployments in the retail sector but there’s still a long way to go.
The most IoT mature market Australia is driven largely by its mining industry. South Korea and New Zealand—the second and third most mature markets—have a wide adoption of IoT sensors in high-end factories, consumer market and livestock respectively.
Less hype, more practicality
There was less hype about IoT and more practical use from enterprises, governments and consumers across the region last year.
The top three IoT use cases in APeJ (APAC excluding Japan) relate to manufacturing operations, freight monitoring and production asset management.
Enterprises see IoT as a driver for achieving operational excellence in product quality, time to market, productivity and cost saving rather than revenue generation.
APAC companies are still in the early phase of using IoT to drive revenue. 12% of enterprises in APeJ will see IoT as an opportunity for revenue generation this year, according to IDC.
“People are still concerned about taking risks when there’s no guarantee of money coming in. They are much more comfortable doing things that will drive cost saving initially,” Anderson noted.
Security is the top concern among enterprises worldwide and in APAC. OpEx (operating expense) and ROI (return on investment) are other key factors that hinder IoT solution deployments in APAC.