There are four primary benefits of IoT: (1) Improve performance or productivity (2) Reduce costs (3) Create new and innovative products differentiation (4) Create the new source of revenue growth. And if there is ONE thing that we should focus NOW in Malaysia would be “reduce costs”. Once we can cut costs or eliminate leakages, we can move on to improve our productivity level.
There are many areas that IoT can be of assistance to reduce costs, but since we can’t solve the world hunger by implementing all of them, we need to identify what’s the main “pain points” that Malaysia is facing currently. Here’s my view:
Priority No. 1 – Smart Transportation
Congestion! Congestion! Congestion! There’s no doubt that this is the number one problem in the major cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru. Many of us dread the morning and late evening travel to office and home every day. Stuck in unnecessary traffic jam for hours when we should already start working at 8.30am or home with family by 6.00pm. Our work productivity and family life are affected – all due to this never ending traffic problems. Thus, once and for all we need to identify the cause of the traffic jam and have a model that can predict and prevent traffic jams in the future. Why is prediction important? The current way of solving the traffic is either by having more police traffic manning the junctions or building new roads etc. True enough – it will solve the short term, but we can never predict the future by the “what-if” questions. For example, what if we plan to make this road bigger, what if we have a new fly-over, what if we send more police traffic at these different junctions, what if we increase more public transportation (thinking it will reduce public vehicles) and many more “what-if” questions. (Note: Read this article “How the Internet of Things will solve traffic jams” and see how reducing congestion by as little as 15% could provide savings of more than £1 billion a year for the UK). Check out how Dublin use real-time data to reduce congestion. Another example, Bilbao in Northern Spain is promoting public transport with more efficient urban freight improvement, deployment of smart mobility services by utilising the EcoTrafiX solution.
Priority No. 2 – Smart Environment
Environment monitoring is more than monitoring the air quality, rainfall, and the wind. Recently Malaysia has been facing problems of floods, pollution of rivers, landslides, and haze. The impact of the recent flood in several States in December 2014 caused nearly RM 1 Billion of losses (not including the trauma caused to the affected families). There are several dead rivers in Malaysia that have been considered as dead rivers, too polluted and unhygienic for water consumption. It took London 20 years to rehabilitate the River Thames, and if Malaysia doesn’t find a way to stop the pollution, we will see a lot more dead rivers. Landslides in Cameron Highlands and other places could be avoided if we can monitor and enforce the illegal logging and deforestation.
Priority No. 3 – Smart Health
How many of us have been to public hospitals or private hospitals? The length of the queues and waiting time are unimaginable. There are times you register in the morning but only settle later in the afternoon. How much time is gone wasted? Do we lack doctors and specialists? Do we have too many sick people in Malaysia? Can we automate the process? Can we identify the source of the problems and sickness? Can we make the doctors and specialist accessible to their patient’s data quickly? Can our health being monitored remotely rather than being at the hospital physically for the check-ups? How about the lack of cleanliness in the residents housing areas? Why the garbage of left unattended for weeks? Why can’t the garbage trucks alert the residents of their schedule and routes?
Not all countries have similar problems. Thus, we will see the growth of IoT and its implementations slightly vary depending on the pain points of the country, businesses and the citizens.
How about your country? Do you face similar issues too?
Dr. Mazlan Abbas is the CEO of REDtone IOT Sdn Bhd. He is ranked No. 20th Thought Leader in IOT by 2014 Onalytics Report – “The Internet of Things – Top 100 Thought Leaders”. His principle is – “You can’t evangelise what you don’t love.” You can contact him though his Social Media below: