IoT needs regulation. Source: Shutterstock

IoT needs regulation. Source: Shutterstock

Do regulators need to take action for IoT to flourish?

THERE are exciting opportunities that the internet of things (IoT) can create for organizations.

IoT can allow businesses to get closer to their customer and learn from their behavior in real-time, it can transform how operations are run, and it can bring in more intelligence into everyday processes.

IoT is the technology that can help organizations take their digital transformation agenda to the next level.

However, there are major concerns about the data these devices collect and process. Further, cybersecurity issues surrounding corporate IoT deployments and large-scale multi-party IoT ecosystems still pose quite a big risk.

According to ConnecTechAsia2019 speaker and Institute of Technology Bandung Director of Smart Cities and Communities Innovation Centre Suhono Supangkat, the answer is simple: The regulator needs to step in.

“Without a clear policy related to data security and privacy, users will hesitate to use IoT devices or services.”

“The use of the IoT-based service or device is supposed to be in accordance with applicable regulations in the country. If it is not regulated, it is possible that IoT development and research in the business sector will be hampered.”

Supangkat points out that in Indonesia, because there are no official regulations from the government, the development of innovation is still confined within the four walls of academic labs and not available for commercial or public use.

When policies are formulated and laws are crafted, Supangkat argues that all kinds of organizations have a clear idea about the standards that IoT devices and services need to meet.

Further, authorities can manage and monitor the development and progress of IoT deployments to mitigate risks and avoid inappropriate use of data, devices, and the ecosystem at large.

“Rules are made so that all parties have the same opportunity to create IoT-based services for public consumption without harming anyone.”

Further, in order to accelerate IoT adoption and deployment among businesses, Supangkat believes that governments need to make special rules for limited IoT utilization for the trial process to ensure regulatory compliance and security checks before the service is live to the public.

At the end of the day, although IoT is making great progress with businesses working hard to commercialize the technology and use it to drive their growth and innovation engines, it does face roadblocks.

Regulation, therefore, is definitely one part of the solution, and an important part of the solution.

However, experts in IoT and other emerging technologies often advocate thinking outside the box to find ways to leverage new technologies because those who succeed will truly disrupt the market and gain a strong competitive edge — possibly for the medium or long-term. And that’s a great incentive for any organization.