The integration of IoT, AI and automation is creating significant opportunities for local and international businesses to invest in Malaysia’s IoT ecosystem
by AFIQ HANIF
THE rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) technology has led to new opportunities for technological advancements across various sectors.
The aim of IoT technology is to optimise operations, enhance system efficiency and ultimately improve the quality of life while also improving safety and security, increasing efficiency and enhancing convenience.
In Malaysia, IoT technology allows us to monitor and control resource usage including water and energy consumption, thereby reducing waste and conserving resources.
Farmers utilise IoT sensors to monitor soil moisture levels, crop growth and environmental conditions.
This enables optimisation of irrigation and fertilisation, improving crop yields while reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency.
However, as IoT technology continues to expand, it is crucial to ensure it is implemented sustainably and does not have negative impacts on the environment.
Measures such as responsible disposal of IoT devices, minimising energy consumption and reducing the environmental impact of IoT infrastructure must be prioritised.
Expert and CEO of IoT company Favoriot Sdn Bhd Dr Mazlan Abbas said Malaysia is embracing the technology at an unprecedented pace, with the country’s focus on digitisation and technological innovation driving its growth.
“In today’s digital age, IoT has become a buzzword that is gradually gaining popularity across the globe.
“The IoT ecosystem in Malaysia is evolving rapidly, with several trends shaping its growth and development. Smart cities, IR 4.0, healthcare and agriculture are some of the latest IoT trends in Malaysia,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
Mazlan added that the government is working towards building smart cities that are connected and integrated with the IoT network.
He said these smart cities will use technology to enhance their citizens’ quality of life and improve sustainability.
Advantages of IoT Technologies
The integration of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation is transforming the manufacturing industry in Malaysia, improving productivity, efficiency and innovation.
“Our healthcare sector is also adopting IoT to enhance patient care, improve medical outcomes and reduce costs. IoT devices such as wearables and remote monitoring systems are being used to provide real-time data to healthcare professionals.
“The IoT is also being used in the agriculture sector to increase crop yields, reduce wastage and improve sustainability. Devices such as sensors and drones monitor soil conditions, weather patterns and crop health,” he said.
He added that these trends are not only transforming Malaysia but also creating significant opportunities for local and international businesses to invest in the country’s IoT ecosystem.
“The adoption of the IoT is expected to contribute to the country’s economic growth and enhance its position as a regional leader in technological innovation,” Mazlan said.
Malaysia’s strong focus on digitisation and technological innovation is driving the country’s growth, presenting numerous opportunities for businesses to invest in the country’s IoT ecosystem.
It is also a complex network of various components that work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the network.
“The IoT ecosystem comprises hardware, software, connectivity, security and regulations, which all play a critical role in shaping the future of IoT in Malaysia.
“Hardware is the foundation of any IoT network. In Malaysia, physical devices, sensors and other components form the basis of the IoT network that enable the collection and transmission of data, which is critical to the functioning of the IoT network,” Mazlan explained.
Software is another essential component of the IoT ecosystem.
Programmes, platforms and applications enable data analysis and visualisation, making it easier for users to monitor and manage IoT networks.
Malaysia has made significant strides in software development, with several local companies providing IoT software solutions to businesses.
“Connectivity is also crucial. It refers to the infrastructure that enables devices to connect to the Internet and exchange data.
“With the emergence of 5G technology, Malaysia’s IoT network is poised to become faster and more reliable, which will further enhance the country’s IoT capabilities,” he added.
Another critical area is the security of the IoT ecosystem, especially with the rise of cyber threats.
“Securing the network from data breaches and cyber-attacks is paramount. The government has implemented various measures to ensure the safety and security of the IoT network, including the establishment of the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA).
“Regulations aim to ensure the safety, privacy and security of individuals and businesses that use the IoT network. Malaysia has developed a regulatory framework that aligns with international standards, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to invest in IoT,” he said.
Mazlan added that IoT is rapidly changing the world, and Malaysia is no exception, as it can revolutionise various industries by automating processes, reducing human errors and providing real-time data.
For the country’s strong manufacturing industry, IoT can help improve efficiency and productivity by enabling predictive maintenance, remote monitoring, and optimised logistics.
Meanwhile, in a smart city, IoT manages traffic, improves public safety and provides better access to essential services such as healthcare and education.
Malaysia has already started developing smart cities, with initiatives such as the Cyberjaya Smart City and the Smart Selangor initiative.
Growth in IoT Ecosystem Drives Economic Growth and Innovation
The IoT ecosystem’s growth can also lead to increased economic growth and innovation by creating job opportunities, attracting foreign investment and stimulating the growth of local businesses in the technology sector.
Malaysia has been recognised as a hub for technology start-ups in the Asean region, and the growth of IoT technology is expected to further accelerate this trend.
The country is poised to see significant growth in smartphone ownership, mobile app usage and Internet access, making it an ideal environment for IoT implementation.
A recent survey by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) found that over 150% of Malaysians own a smartphone, and that number is expected to grow to 280% by 2025.
Malaysia’s active online behaviour has also driven Internet usage growth, with over 59% of Internet users downloading mobile applications.
The country’s Internet usage is projected to grow by 190% by 2025. The rise in Internet access is also due to an increase in broadband subscriptions, which is expected to reach 170% by 2025.
The country’s strong mobile device and Internet penetration rates make it a prime location for IoT implementation, particularly in the manufacturing, agriculture, education, healthcare, smart city and transportation sectors.
The National IoT Strategic Roadmap aims to make the country a leading regional IoT development hub, with the gross national income expected to rise from RM9.5 billion in 2020 to RM42.5 billion in 2025.
To achieve these goals, the roadmap outlines three key objectives, namely to develop Malaysia as the premier regional IoT development hub, to create a favourable industrial environment to facilitate seamless IoT application and to strengthen technopreneur talents and capacities in IoT app and services creation.
The country’s government-led innovation projects and establishment of small and medium enterprises will also enable IoT efforts and solidify its foundation for future growth.
A Malaysian Consumer Confidence Index study by Oppotus Market Research said Malaysia is making significant strides toward becoming a major player in the global technology industry.
“Advancements in emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain and IoT have the potential to transform Malaysia’s position at the forefront of technological innovation,” it said.
The study said investment in these technologies presents an opportunity for Malaysia to secure its place as a key player in the global tech landscape.
“As the country continues to focus on these advancements, it can create new business opportunities, generate jobs and drive economic growth.
“In line with this focus on technology, Malaysia has identified four major tech trends that are currently shaping the industry and they are e-sports, cryptocurrency, virtual reality and AI,” it said.
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition