To meet IoT connectivity, security and sustainability expectations, two strategies are needed: the right ecosystems, and the right supporting digital infrastructure.

With IoT firms in the Asia Pacific region at various stages of maturity, finding synergies in a broader ecosystem makes it possible to share best practices, co-innovate new products and services, and above all, collaborate to solve various challenges that would otherwise be insurmountable by a single entity.

However, there are still challenges that need to be overcome. To effectively capitalize on the region’s growing demand for IoT, deploying the right digital infrastructure to connect with partners and service providers will become mission critical for collaboration and innovation, and ultimately bring new IoT-enabled products and services to market faster.

What are the benefits of forming IoT ecosystems? Such alliances facilitate better and wider interconnections between devices, platforms and services, to create cohesive, integrated systems for data collection, analysis and sharing. The IoT ecosystems are also set up around IoT platforms that are responsible for providing the infrastructure to manage and analyze data. This provides the foundation to bring IoT sensor data and analytics to market quickly, scalably and securely.

Tapping into these ecosystems helps businesses create, deploy and manage IoT solutions while taking advantage of the data and insights generated by these systems. 

The challenges of IoT complexity

As the number of connected devices continues to grow, the IoT sector is facing increased complexity that needs to be addressed, including:

    • Data volume: The sheer volume of data being generated by connected devices is quickly becoming overwhelming. This data must be stored, processed, and analyzed in real time, which can be a daunting task for many organizations.
    • Security: IoT devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
    • Privacy: The collection and use of data from IoT devices raise concerns about privacy and the potential for misuse of personal information.
    • Reliability: IoT devices and systems need to be reliable and robust to ensure they can be trusted to perform their intended functions.
    • Standardization: Lack of harmonized standards among IoT devices and platforms makes it difficult to develop interoperable systems, creating barriers to entry.

To address these challenges, IoT firms require a robust foundation of underlying digital infrastructure that provides access to:

    • Network service providers
      These providers help establish high-speed, low-latency networks that securely connect with other partners within IoT ecosystems, ensuring privacy and regulatory requirements are met
    • Cloud and SaaS providers
      These vendors increase scale; offer compute, storage and application resources; and provide other technologies for performing real-time analytics and advancing AI/ML capabilities
    • IoT partners
      These partners help to establish and operate IoT platforms that interconnect ecosystems, including hyper-scale cloud, system and software providers

In terms of digital infrastructure, while an industrial IoT manufacturer can leverage both private or public cloud, it requires private connectivity to move data between IoT devices, platforms, services and clouds. In other instances, enterprises operating at the digital edge use private interconnection services available on vendor-neutral platforms to access digital ecosystems and IoT platforms that help them enhance their products and services.

In strengthening their digital infrastructure for IoT, firms such as Tele2 IoT have developed private connectivity solutions that allow their customers to move data to their own dedicated fiber connections, achieving more secure and predictable performance. Simplifying private connectivity between partners, providers and IoT ecosystem users from anywhere in the world is beneficial for bypassing enterprise security risks inherent in the public internet.

Ramchandra Koty, Director of Engineering – Global IT, Equinix

Making the digital infrastructure sustainable

With climate change as a key consideration, making IoT-ready digital infrastructure sustainable is critical. For instance, Singapore’s easing of its data center moratorium has come with conditions to ensure new data centers are aligned with the country’s green mandates — with new facilities required to operate with a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.3 or lower.

To stay on the right side of regulations, IoT firms should be on the lookout for partners and ecosystems that are able to contribute to meeting increasingly stringent green requirements. Such collaborations will provide them with the robust compute power to process and analyze large amounts of data in real time; connect and manage IoT devices securely, privately and reliably; and at the same time open up opportunities to work with other IoT firms; cloud and network service providers; and industry partners to innovate at scale and at speed to meet long-term sustainability and business goals.