Industry failing to adopt new tech

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Industry failing to adopt new tech

The Korean manufacturing industry’s ability to exploit Internet of Things (IoT) technology is insufficient, a recent survey found, and government support is necessary to move it in the right direction.

The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), a top business lobbying group, said it asked 30 IoT experts to assess how well the local manufacturing industry has stepped up to the new technology and they gave an average score of 48.3 out of 100.

IoT connects various things to the Web through cloud technology, making it possible to transfer data over networks without having humans interact with each other or having humans interact with computers.

The manufacturing industry is supposed to be mobilizing IoT to come up with new devices to improve the efficiency of its own manufacturing and customer service.

IoT is also supposed to dovetail with big data analysis.

Global manufacturers such as General Electric and Zara have adopted IoT and succeeded in digital integration and transition that led to exponential growth.

In a separate poll by the business group of 54 Korean manufacturers, over 90 percent said they think IoT is important but only 5.6 percent were actually taking advantage of IoT. Only 11.1 percent had plans to do so.

The biggest barrier was a shortage of successful role models or business models to follow, cited by 37 percent, whereas 27.8 percent said hefty initial investments were an inhibition.

Nearly 26 percent said information security dangers were a problem.

Nine out of 30 experts surveyed said the government needs to provide policy support including R&D expenditure.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has earmarked 23.9 billion won ($20 million) for IoT research and development, but that is a mere 0.6 percent of the ministry’s entire budget for the year.

“A number of advanced economies, such as the United States, Germany and China have designated IoT as a key vehicle to propel manufacturing industries,” said Eom Chi-sung, director of the FKI’s international bureau. “The government needs to help the Korean manufacturing industry, which has slowed down recently, exploit IoT.”


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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