from A sense of urgency builds for the Internet of Things in Asia
by Jerry Lee

Recently at the Microsoft Analyst Summit Asia, I took the stage with Chaney Ho, president of Advantech, to discuss the state of the Internet of Things (IoT) with more than 80 analysts.

The thrust of our talk was IoT as a mainstream technology movement, which may have caught some in attendance off guard. Even though the term “Internet of Things” was coined almost 20 years ago, there remains a perception that the world of IoT is a thing of the future.

Cheney Ho (left) and Jerry Lee take the stage

Chaney Ho (left) and I answer questions at the Microsoft Analyst Summit Asia

It’s not. Today there are billions of connected “things” out there, and that number is growing at an exponential rate. At Microsoft, we’re seeing a steady stream of organizations move from initial proof of concepts to full blown deployment.

This is equally true in the Asia Pacific as it is in other regions: Recently, Australia’s Dental Corporation deployed IoT to automate reporting processes across 220 offices. The Taiwanese government utilized IoT to drastically reduce commutes along their national highways by replacing manual toll booths — saving an estimated 22.5 million minutes of commute time daily. The list grows every day.

This momentum was reflected in the thoughts shared by several analysts during the event. One theme we heard repeatedly was the convergence of IoT with industries, technology sectors and other trends. In many cases, the analysts are seeing their coverage evolve to encompass IoT as it moves from aspiration to a tangible driver, influencer or disruptor. Topics included security, management and a host of industries like automotive. The broad relevance of IoT makes it a trend that binds many disciplines together, and I was intrigued to hear this point echoed throughout the summit.

With one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, a competitive advantage can come and go very quickly.

As the momentum and success stories pile up, the competitiveness of the Asia marketplace is causing the pace of IoT adoption to accelerate drastically. With one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, a competitive advantage can come and go very quickly, as companies and governments work hard to stand out. According to a recent Microsoft-sponsored survey of 291 CIOs in Asia Pacific, 79 percent said that they already have or are planning to implement IoT solutions. As the price-point of IoT devices continues to fall, those initiatives will become easier to attain, too attractive to ignore.

Over the last 12 months, Microsoft has accelerated the rollout of its IoT portfolio to support these market demands. Microsoft’s vision is to help companies thrive by delivering open, scalable platforms and services that any company can use to create new value, right now.

We’ve added new capabilities like Machine Learning and Stream Analytics that enable companies to generate new value from data, and new programs like our Quick Start consultations to help companies envision the possibilities and get started today. Most recently we unveiled Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, an integrated offering that takes advantage of all the relevant Azure capabilities, along with simplified billing and easy provisioning to help businesses connect, manage and analyze valuable data from devices at the network edge.

As this movement picks up steam, there is even more opportunity for the partner ecosystem to build on top of the platform and unlock greater value. We are working to prepare partners for the rapidly increasing demand we see for IoT — not just in Asia, but everywhere.

For more details on what some of our customers are up to, and how Microsoft technologies are powering the internet of their things, check out this write up of our talk at Microsoft Analyst Summit Asia.