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We end the year 2018 with a big launch of Industry 4WRD (Malaysia National Policy) which is Malaysia’s response to Industry 4.0 to strengthen the Manufacturing sector. It is seen as the key economic enabler for Malaysia in future years. Although, we should not forget that Industry 4.0 is only a subset of a bigger picture i.e. Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which goes beyond manufacturing. It covers the way we live, works and entertains ourselves in all sectors.

Earlier this year, I have made some IoT predictions for 2018. Now, let’s review what we have learned in 2018.

  1. Industry 4.0 has become the latest jargon and hottest topic of the year. But many have different interpretations and misconceptions when we juggled between both words – 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) or IR4.0 or I4.0 (Industry 4.0). And it’s true that some important technology like IoT has somehow become “sideline” even though that’s key in any 4IR initiatives. Many have included the “4.0” in many of their initiatives, brands, proposals, events and even in the job titles.
  2. Training, Workshops, and Conferences are somehow all related to “4.0”. This gives a great opportunity for training and consultancy. It will continue for the next year in 2019.
  3. A lot to play catch-up by the Universities. Before 2019, many Universities have started to introduce Internet of Things (IoT) as part of their subject but now they have to include Blockchain too. Fortunately, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) are already taught in many Computer Sciences courses. The lecturers now have a tough time to learn new things. The good thing is that many Malaysian Universities have somehow and somewhat incorporated the elements of IoT in their courses in 2018.
  4. IoT Startups still lack of exposure. We heard a lot of funding goes to Startups that are based on Fintech, Blockchain, AI, eMarketplace that are mainly focused on software/applications but not many IoT startups get the right attention or funding. Maybe it’s because many of them have B2C business model and thus their brand is more prominent compared to IoT startups that are mainly B2B. However, the recent ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards (Rice Bowl), organized by New Entrepreneurs Foundation have started to include IoT as one of the categories and this is a good indication of recognition. Cyberview Living Lab Accelerator (CLLA), MDEC’s #mydigitalmaker hero, MCMC’s KLESF and CREST The Great Lab Challenges are some other notable initiatives on IoT.
  5. Unfortunately, there’s no announcement of any National IoT Projects except maybe smaller projects by State such as Smart Selangor and the announcement of Industry 4wrd.

Not everything looks blur in the horizon for 2019. The announcement of Industry 4wrd somehow gives a wake-up call to many organizations. The government is conducting a 4.0 Readiness Assessment and will be selecting the SMEs into this journey. The Universities are invited to give proposals for 4.0 Competence Centers. Technologies such as Virtual/Augmented Reality, Big Data Analytics, Blockchain, IoT, Artificial Intelligence amongs others are given greater focus in the Universities.

In my next article, I will write about “IoT in Malaysia – 2019 Predictions”.

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