Cyber security, Internet of Things 'set for big growth'

Attendees trying on the Apple Watch during an event. A report commissioned by the Singapore Exchange on top digital trends, released yesterday, noted that the growth of tech wearables, which include electronic technologies or computers incorporated i
Attendees trying on the Apple Watch during an event. A report commissioned by the Singapore Exchange on top digital trends, released yesterday, noted that the growth of tech wearables, which include electronic technologies or computers incorporated into items of clothing, will be boosted by growing health consciousness, as well as the ease of using such devices.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Investors looking to ride the digital wave should pay attention to companies dealing with cyber security and the Internet of Things (IoT), two sectors that will experience high growth, a research expert said yesterday.

This is because many companies are increasingly spending on IT and infrastructure-level cyber security, said Mr Ajay Sunder, vice-president at the Information, Communication and Technology practice of Frost and Sullivan.

A report commissioned by the Singapore Exchange on top digital trends released yesterday noted that new technologies are capturing "tremendous investor interest".

Venture capital firms will likely have invested around US$120 billion (S$169 billion) by the end of this year, and the bulk of it would have gone into technology companies, the report by Frost and Sullivan said.

The IoT - a network of physical objects loaded with devices that enable them to collect and exchange data - in particular will be a fast-growing sector, with products expected to feature in many smart cities in China, India and Singapore.

In the healthcare sector in Japan, such medical devices already update central systems with patient readings. "Any doctor can observe from his device and say, "Oh, this patient's reading seems fine." And if there's any deviation, they can directly come or call the nurse and, say, put him on a different medicine, without needing to physically visit the patient," Mr Sunder said after the launch of the report at SGX Auditorium.

Frost and Sullivan projected that the number of connected devices would surge to 50 billion units globally in five years' time. This would be equivalent to each person having 10 connected devices.

The report also looked at other digital trends such as wearable technology; social media; e-commerce; e-payment; crowd funding, big data and predictive analytics; cyber security; data centre and cloud services and blockchain.

The growth of wearables, which include electronic technologies or computers incorporated into items of clothing, will also be boosted by growing health consciousness, as well as the ease of using such devices, the report noted.

The purpose of the study is to help investors understand the complexities of these sectors, SGX said, adding that they will organise more of such sessions next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline 'Cyber security, Internet of Things 'set for big growth''. Print Edition | Subscribe