Singapore: IoT Asia 2018 got underway with a keynote address by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Singapore. In his speech, Dr. Balakrishnan said that the Government’s approach to the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT), is to avoid the so called “walled gardens” which works counter to Open Standards. He stressed that it is important to develop solutions around open standards and avoid the hurdle of closed platforms, which could be product or vendor specific, thus  lending itself to a possibility of a vendor lock out.

Dr. Balakrishnan also mentioned that any solution around IoT, should also encompass the security aspect and it should be a built-in factor within all such products and services. He mentioned that the ignorance of built-in security could often lead to belated scramble to address such loopholes after project roll out and that can be avoided if the security concerns are addressed upfront. This is in line with one of the objectives of IoT deployment in Singapore – which is to ramp up the security and reliability of services consumed by citizens.

Dr Balakrishnan touched briefly on certain government initiatives around Smart City projects such as smart street lamps and smart parking  and simplification of certain services to ease the pain of citizens. He also mentioned the need for skills development around technology as we moved towards a fast paced knowledge and digital based economy.