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Belcaid: IoT can create massive opportunities for economic transformation in the region

Belcaid: IoT can create massive opportunities for economic transformation in the region



GCC IoT solutions market to hit $11bn

The region’s governments have been increasingly investing in next-generation technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), in an effort to move their economies away from heavy reliance on oil, says a report

August 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) solutions market in the GCC region is poised for solid growth and is likely to be worth $11 billion over the next eight years, said an industry expert.

The IoT has the potential to unlock up to 11 per cent in incremental GDP driving economic growth in the GCC region, according to AT Kearney’s latest report, ‘IoT in the GCC: Building a Brighter, More Sustainable Future’.

By 2025, the IoT solutions market will be generating a potential value for the economy of nearly $160 billion; implying that every dollar spent on IoT solutions could produce nearly $14.50 in economic value, stated the report.

According to AT Kearney, the region’s governments have been increasingly investing in next-generation technologies such as IoT, in an effort to move their economies away from heavy reliance on oil.

An exponentially growing ecosystem of connected devices and systems, IoT offers a major avenue for innovation and economic growth, and has the potential to address many of the region’s challenges, it added.

Adel Belcaid, the principal at AT Kearney Middle East, said: “Next-generation technologies such as IoT are creating massive opportunities for economic transformation in the region, and could lead to an industrial revolution in its own right, referred to globally as the 4th Industrial Revolution.”

“As governments in the region remain resolute about creating a clear digital roadmap and focus on diversifying their oil-dependent economies, we will continue to see an increasing scope for IoT and digital adoption that will create a surge of economic value from unlocking new revenue streams,” observed Belcaid.

“The private sector is also tapping into IoT-based opportunities to maximise business efficiencies. A good example is the regional telecommunications industry with key players such as STC, Du and Etisalat already building machine-to-machine/IoT capabilities and partnerships to offer new solutions to clients,” he added.

According to him, the GCC has several characteristics that can speed up the growth of IoT, including broadband penetration, coverage to remote areas, and a young, tech-savvy population that is ready for a revolution in digital services and connectivity.

Governments, he stated, will be playing a larger role in enabling the IoT to drive smart cities (which is on the national agenda of most GCC nations) and can stimulate adoption on both demand and supply by addressing factors to ensure consumer adoption is swift and broad.

“Addressing the radio spectrum challenge, establishing mechanisms for data security, ensuring infrastructure can meet consumer demands and promoting innovation incubators and start-ups are just some of the measures that will be especially relevant in harnessing the potential of IoT in the region,” he added.

The AT Kearney report also shared insights on the impact of IoT on major business sectors, stating that the manufacturing sector would benefit the most in terms of productivity gains and time economies at a value of $43 billion.

In factories, improved productivity via better inventory tracking, enhanced production rates with minimized downtime, and improved production quality can boost manufacturing’s contribution to GDP by 4 percent.

In addition, automated energy systems will reduce spending on not only energy but also maintenance, repair, and operations by about 16 percent. By 2025, overall productivity gains from smart manufacturing could reach about $20 billion.

Other industries expected to benefit from leveraging IoT solutions include mining and extraction, healthcare, transportation and logistics, housing and construction, and of course connectivity (telco), said the report from AT Kearney.

“Although the sizable potential impact of the IoT may indicate it is a cure-all, significant efforts are needed to capture the full benefits,” remarked Laurent Viviez, a partner at AT Kearney Middle East.

“In addition to technology, companies will need to create new business models and invest in smart objects and processes. Business leaders and policy makers should recognise the magnitude and the drivers of impact to prompt timely action to take advantage of and more importantly, monetise the IoT opportunity,” he added.




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