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M2M and IoT popularity surges in Saudi Arabia, says IDC

Steve Rogerson
June 25, 2015
The popularity of M2M and IoT applications is growing across Saudi Arabian organisations, especially with the increasing number of offerings emerging from systems integrators and telcos, according to global ICT consulting firm International Data Corporation. The research indicates that the products vary from horizontal offerings such as fleet management to vertical-specific services such as ATM connectivity.
"Organisations across a number of verticals in Saudi Arabia are intensifying their efforts to implement the latest ICT solutions in a bid to improve operational efficiencies and enhance the customer-citizen services they provide," said Tolga Yalcin, a senior research analyst at IDC Saudi Arabia. "At the same time, the share of M2M and IoT applications within the ICT ecosystem is growing. While most of the applications are essentially M2M based, IoT solutions are also increasingly being applied, particularly in smart city projects."
The development of fixed and mobile infrastructures across the country has also started to provide seamless connectivity for service providers, supporting the growth of the IoT ecosystem. Security and monitoring, smart grid, and smart traffic are some of the emerging applications that are expected to become more prevalent in the kingdom over the coming years.
"Saudi Arabia is generally a follower, rather than an initiator, in the adoption of new technologies and smart ICT solutions," said Yalcin. "However, the country is still in the early stages of economic diversification and private sector development; in the future, more opportunities will arise to deploy smart solutions as part of on-going infrastructure projects."
IDC believes that telcos should pioneer smart project initiatives and drive the development of new technology.
"Saudi telcos should not be overly cautious in their approach to IoT," said Yalcin. "They should be proactive in capturing opportunities by driving market development and building end-to-end solutions, rather than restricting themselves solely to providing connectivity."