As the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) sweeps the globe, the GCC is expected to be among the early pioneering adopters. The GCC has its very own unique context, which requires IoT policy prescriptions that are tailored to the region's specific needs. The benefits of IoT have to address GCC's economic and social goals, such as economic diversification and the strengthening of the private sector. Thus, the ways through which IoT can potentially impact the way of life in the GCC is vastly more important that simple analysis of market size estimates. This is also due to the fact that the IoT is a disruptive development, which has the potential to exceed the farthest bounds of human imagination, over the coming years, in terms of its impact of human societal history.
One of the key areas for real-world IoT application is in the idea of Smart Cities. A Smart City utilizes intelligent technology to improve quality of life in urban environments. With 75 percent of the global population projected to live in urban centers by 2050, the concept of Smart Cities is gaining in acceptance among policy and governmental planners. As multiple global corporations drive the agenda of smart homes and smart cities, the value creation in terms of money through deployment of "killer apps" is tremendous, as well.
The structural platform supporting IoT is the rapid developments made in the concept and practice of Big Data analytics. Big Data can be defined in simple terms as volumes of data that is so large that it is extremely difficult to process and analyze them with traditional statistical techniques. Big Data analytics is simply the application of sophisticated analytic techniques to such large data sets with usually real-time information processing capabilities. Such capabilities allow for predictive data analysis. In other words, patterns and insights can be gleaned from data that can in turn be used for operational, strategic and tactical purposes. The intersection of IoT and Big Data has far reaching benefits for the GCC, as it can help in the agenda of economic diversification and the spawning of SMEs in the region.
If the GCC can make strategic and effective use of the IoT and Big Data enabled technologies, a new era of competitive differentiation based on technology and human skills can be begun. For instance, large corporate houses and government services can use the capabilities provided by Big Data to effectively predict customer response to product launches, target new revenue streams through identifying patterns of emerging customer demand, detect financial fraud in real time, etc. It is notable that across the
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