SINGAPORE: The Government's approach to the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions is based on avoiding "walled gardens", said Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the IoT Asia 2018 Conference on Wednesday (Mar 21).
Dr Balakrishnan cited a closed platform - where the product or service provider has control over all operations - as the biggest hurdle. He stressed that it is crucial for the Government and public officials to insist on open standards to avoid this.
“Every big IT company wants to create, behind its own walls, a unique ecosystem, and is trying to lock us in. I would state, as a public official, that it is the duty of the Government to avoid being trapped by vendors behind walled gardens.
“Now what that means is that there is, in fact, a need for open standards ... and then for the private sector to adapt their products and services to ride on these open standards. This is ultimately a political and regulatory issue,“ he said.
Dr Balakrishnan, who is also the foreign minister, added that it is therefore also the Government’s duty to provide the necessary infrastructure so that vendors in the private sector can design their products and services to fit into the open standards and the Government’s systems.
On the security front, Dr Balakrishnan raised that these vendors need to make sure that security "is baked into” their products and services. He said it should not be a case of a “belated scramble” to tackle such issues after the product or service is rolled out.
This is in line with the objectives of IoT deployment in Singapore - one of which is to ramp up the security and reliability of services consumed by citizens.
The other objectives include enhancing the quality and scope of services available, as well as strengthening the competitiveness of Singapore’s economy, according to Dr Balakrishnan.