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Leveraging on the power of the Internet

Publication Date : 01-05-2013


Ever hear of Internet of Everything? It has the power to generate US$14 trillion globally


As data, people, things and processes become increasingly interconnected, greater data intelligence and new interaction opportunities are emerging which is expected to benefit both individuals and businesses. Cisco Systems Inc calls this phenomenon the Internet of Everthing (IoE).

Over the next 10 years, the company believes that the IoE will have the power to generate about US$14.4 trillion globally.

"It represents about 21 per cent of uplift in profits. Two thirds of that figure will come from major industries like manufacturing, information services, retail and financial services while a third will come from cross-industry architecture," says Wagdy Samir, managing director of smart solutions for Asia Pacific, Japan and China at Cisco Systems Australia Pty Ltd.

Out of the $14.4 trillion, around $2.6 trillion is expected to come from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, including Malaysia (but excluding China and Japan). According to Wagdy, Malaysia's readiness for the IoE would be based on the nation's Internet infrastucture.

"The network has to become smarter," says Yuri Wahab, managing director at Cisco Systems (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. "You need to understand how things are connected and how to manage the traffic. It's also about service creation because once people are on board, they want everything to be fast."

"Security is also very important because you have to protect your intellectual property, applications and data. Finally, we need to connect more things to have more insights."

He adds that chief information officers in Asia have become increasingly aware of the implications of having increased Internet accessibility amongst employees through the use of mobile devices. As a result, around 70 per cent of these CIOs are now devising company policies to address such issues.

Due to the ongoing BYOD (bring your own device) work culture, Cisco foresees the concept of a unified workspace taking shape in the corporate world.

"It's a workspace that allows employees to work irrespective of device, location, application or type of network," says Wagdy. "The less these factors matter, the more flexible the environment becomes and the more productive employees become."

Meanwhile, James Yong, director of Aseab public sector programs at Cisco Systems (USA) Pte Ltd says,

"Having skills and knowledge today is no longer about searching for information, but becoming better information curators. With the deluge of information that we face, we need to have the skills to decipher what is right or wrong."

"The IoE will help the government prepare plans that are more anticipative in nature so that if something happens, they will know how to respond," he explains. It will also give the nation a better adaptive capacity - the ability to bounce back from challenges or disasters."

Furthermore, Yong says the IoE will also help to expand the role of the government to include partnerships with the local community.

"It empowers the community to work with the government to achieve better results," he adds. Ng Wan Peng, chief operating officer of Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd views the IoE as a platform that will "create a more open and transparent society" whilst also "improving the operational efficiency and services of the government."

From a business perspective, she also sees the IoE improving the productivity of enterprises. However, she emphasises, "Companies will need to develop a digital strategy."

In addition, she expects the IoE to contribute towards developing the national talent pool and cultivating more competent SMEs (small medium enterprises).

"By the year 2020, we will have around five million workers joining the workforce. We need to get them ready to contribute to Malaysia's digital economy," Ng says.

As for the SMEs, she feels that technologies such as cloud computing have the potential to greatly enhance their operations.

"It enables them to adopt the use of technology without needing to invest too much in hardware or software. Hence, it will make it easier for them to put their business up online."

On the whole, Ng says Malaysians are used to consuming a lot of Internet based content yet they are not producing enough of such content themselves.

"We want the public not just to be aware of digital technology, but to be empowered by it," she says. 'Technology is a key driver but to ensure successful transformation (into a high income economy), we need to impact the nation as a whole."


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