Internet of Things (IoT) paving the route to a ‘smarter’ Dubai

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that $8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31% from 2016, and will reach $20.4 billion by 2020.


Set to drive growth and innovation, the IoT sector is gearing up in its unprecedented influence in the world across various industries. And in Dubai’s strategy to transform into a ‘Smart Dubai’, IoT initiatives are skewed towards an improvement on standard of living for its citizens, residents and tourists.

What are the current trends?

1. An increase of IoT hardware, software and services


Organisations within the MEA will invest more than $7.8 billion in IoT-related hardware, software, services, and connectivity in 2017, given its prior growth in 2016 of 19.6% in market share, beating all other major technology markets. As Dubai is an economic and financial center that links the Middle East, Africa and even South Asia, it therefore becomes even more important to increase its investments as it acts as a base for big players of IoT internationally. Below are two examples of an increase of IoT’s investments within the region.

BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd.


BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd., a supplier of Internet-of-Things technologies, products and services, has officially opened its Middle East subsidiary in Dubai. This is another important move taken by BOE in its expansion of their overseas market. The purpose of BOE's setup in Dubai is to bring its most advanced, premium and cutting-edge technologies and products to the Middle East market, so as to better serve their consumers in the region.

Huawei


In an attempt to support Dubai’s smart city initiatives, Chinese vendor Huawei will develop software and services with Dubai Civil Defence according to its recent agreement under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Under the terms of this agreement, Huawei will work with Dubai Civil Defence to develop smart city solutions to leverage on cloud computing and cloud data centers, software-defined networking (SDN), big data, business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), unified communications, intelligent video surveillance and other technologies.


Dubai Civil Defence is focusing on the development of its e-services which provides online service access to vendors, contractors and business partners to support their operations. Huawei has also recently announced the launch of OpenLab Dubai, aiming to provide innovative solutions for IoT, cloud computing, big data, intelligent analysis, eLTE, converged communications and other new technologies. The new facility will focus on the development of public safety, smart city, as well as oil and gas solutions. Huawei’s OpenLab Dubai had recently launched alongside 30 over solutions and more than 20 partners, focusing on cooperation between enterprises, services, partners and customers in the Middle East thereby ensuring a smooth integration of IoT solutions into businesses in Dubai.


2. IoT solutions to tackle cyber security and other privacy issues


Driven by a heighten need to upgrade on security and privacy, IoT solutions is another area that is predicted for immense growth. The IoT solutions market in the GCC will be worth $11 billion by 2025, generating a potential value for the economy of nearly $160 billion. This implies that every dollar spent on IoT solutions could produce nearly $14.50 in economic value. IoT solutions are focusing primarily on high scale verticals such as smart buildings, transport, energy and water. Dubai’s stated ambition however, is to turn 80% of government services smart by 2018 with a focus on health, education, safety and innovation.


InLogic IT Solutions


InLogic IT Solutions for example, is a smart choice catered to all sizes and types of business that wish to upgrade and safeguard their businesses in Dubai. The organisation is working on developing process control systems, sensors, security systems, communication solutions, and software for the IoT. Their high-end customisable technologies will enable their clients in various industries, functions, and infrastructure to analyse their data perceptively, boost their business operations, and optimize their productivity and flexibility. Currently, InLogic IT Solutions are advancing their IoT, Services and People (IoTSP) by helping customers develop their existing technologies while keeping sight of any enduring commitment towards safety, reliability, cyber security and data privacy.

Challenges


InLogic Dubai has predicted a rise in attacks on IoT devices and systems within Dubai by 2018. With this comes the challenges from cyber attacks within connected devices such as mobile, embedded systems, consumer technologies and operational systems. This will inevitably incur a rise in demand for greater IoT solutions as preventive measures are key to not only ensure security, but also maintain the sustainability of IoT growth in Dubai. Despite these challenges, one of the largest impacts of technology is the democratisation of data and information. This has enabled people to make more informed decisions, participate more regularly in providing feedback to government agencies, and increase of engagement within citizen services, allowing businesses to be more customer-centric in the services provided.


Meeting future demand


The IoT market is becoming increasingly competitive within the Middle East. Organisations are pressed to source a range of innovative digital solutions aimed at transforming business operations, whilst improving the customer experience and enhancing employee engagement. To reinforce the rising awareness of IoT demand in the region, Dubai holds an annual Internet of Things Conference, gathering over 81 countries and attracting over 7000 attendees who are of C-level positions to hear from 90 speakers and 120 exhibitors. A study has gathered that 56% of CEOs are to expand their number of employees by 5%, given the skills shortage within digital labour in Dubai. There will be an increase of jobs in all functions within the emerging IoT sector, specifically within cognitive technology - robotic process automation, cognitive computing and cognitive automation.


If you would like to find out more about opportunities within IoT, or would like advice on sourcing for the best available talent within IoT in the market, please contact our Dubai team at [email protected] or follow us on our LinkedIn page for more industry-related insights.

Sources: iotx.ae, medium.com, Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Sys-con Media, InLogic Dubai, Enterprise IoT Insights.

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