Communications Minister Simon Bridges has welcomed the release of research which suggests over $2 billion of potential economic benefits from the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) across key sectors of the New Zealand economy.
IoT is a concept that involves connecting devices to the internet, enabling them to ‘talk’ to each other and to people, such as moisture sensors on farms and power meters on houses.
Commissioned by the New Zealand IoT Alliance, Accelerating a Connected New Zealand looks at the current impact of IoT on the New Zealand economy, how we compare internationally and the potential benefits from increased deployment of this emerging technology.
Speaking at an event in Wellington, Minister Bridges said the research will help industry, government and academics understand the potential of IoT and what it means for New Zealand.
“Given IoT is an emerging technology, there’s still a lot we don’t know. The research tells a really positive story that the benefit of IoT could be far greater to our economy,” Mr Bridges says.
“Emerging technologies also present new challenges, and the research identifies some areas we’ll be considering further, such as security and privacy of IoT data.
“The Government has a key role to play in ensuring that New Zealand can take advantage of what IoT has to offer, through our programme of work to improve access to faster broadband for all New Zealanders.
“Better connectivity means that people and businesses can make the most of emerging technologies such as IoT, increase productivity and competitiveness, and build a foundation for entrepreneurship and continued innovation.
“New Zealand is known for its pioneering spirit and for encouraging innovation. As this research points out, we’re well prepared – and ready – to take advantage of the opportunities IoT brings.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the IoT Alliance to explore the challenges and benefits of this emerging technology, to ensure we get the best outcomes for New Zealanders,” Mr Bridges says.
The IoT Alliance and the research are two of the actions identified in the recently released Building a Digital Nation action plan, which sets out how the Government is partnering with New Zealand’s digital sector, other sectors of the economy and the wider digital community, to enable New Zealand to become a leading digital nation.
Alliance chair and NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says while there is general agreement that IoT will be important for the New Zealand economy, until now there has been little research into its true potential. The New Zealand IoT Alliance wanted to find out just how important IoT will be for the nation, he says.
“This study was been designed to provide a stocktake of the current ecosystem of IoT in New Zealand, an economic analysis of the potential impact to the economy of the deployment of IoT in various applications and identification of opportunities and risk.
“The primary objective is to identify opportunities for economic growth through clever use of the Internet of Things. The report found New Zealand ranked highly as a nation in terms of IoT readiness yet a lack of understanding of the economic value appears to be holding back investment.
“The economic value that accelerated uptake of IoT could bring is substantial for the New Zealand economy. There are many ways to stimulate the uptake of IoT with most stemming from an increased awareness of the potential value that IoT can bring.”