When Forrester looked at internet of-things (IoT) investment trends in Asia Pacific (APAC) in early 2020, we found that smart manufacturing was the dominant market for IoT consultancies. Smart infrastructure was second. Enter COVID-19 and fast-forward to 2022, and we expect smart infrastructure investments to take the lead.

In 2022, Investments In Smart Infrastructure Will Increase By 40%

Early adopters of technologies such as IoT and edge technologies — also leveraging advanced networks like 5G — have already demonstrated that such technologies can empower smart, connected ports, roads, and trains. It’s a strong match, and in 2022, we expect smart infrastructure investments to gain remarkable growth, powered by a government spending windfall in most APAC countries.

Stakeholders will harness insights captured from edge devices and IoT-enabled infrastructure to modify traffic patterns and reduce congestion. They will leverage computer vision to deliver insights for security applications. And they will combine 5G, vehicle-to-everything (V2X), and edge technologies to enable autonomous vehicles in confined spaces such as in ports and airports.

Endemic Treatment Of COVID-19 Will Drive New Projects Across Use Cases

With more and more governments shifting to an endemic treatment of COVID-19, we expect them to invest significantly in building smart infrastructure as a means of making their countries more adaptive (think transportation and logistics), resilient (think public safety and security), and also more creative (think new ways of working and sustainability). City planners will prioritise initiatives to provide citizens with internet connectivity, address public health, and manage critical resources (e.g., water, power, lighting) using smart meters and predictive grid monitoring. For example Singapore (considered by some the world’s smartest city) has just announced a S$175m booster to its Digitalization program, including urban transportation management and physically tracking patients in hospitals.

We also expect new projects to span across singular use cases and leverage an array of technologies. For example, managing smart public infrastructure such as stadiums and transportation hubs will require employing crowd-flow management, building and vehicle management, and safety management. Operations of critical infrastructure such as public utilities will employ technologies for autonomous operations as well as a “manage from anywhere” imperative. And public safety and security will move on from ubiquitous surveillance to enabling decisive and timely actions in case of threatening events.

Besides technology investments, these projects will lead to significant transformation of stakeholders’ ways of working, embracing platform operating models where they orchestrate a multiplicity of platform participants to eventually deliver the relevant services that customers (being citizens, commercial actors, or otherwise) expect of them.

More Forrester 2022 Predictions

To understand the major dynamics that will impact Asia Pacific organizations next year, download Forrester’s complimentary Predictions guide. To dive even deeper, check out our Predictions 2022 complimentary webinar series and engage directly with the analysts who made the predictions.