by Shin-Horng Chen

In recent years, many countries have embarked on economic transformation, especially by harnessing new digital technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). On the one hand, those new digital technologies are presumably related to Asia’s existing strengths of the ICT industry. One the other hand, they are an important part of the digital economy, which is taking shape in many countries, with escalating extent and significance. However, the digital economy is not just about the so-called “digital sector”, the evolving ICT sector producing foundational digital goods and services.

IoT applications have been around for a while, but they are still evolving and at the “fuzzy front-end” stage. Many countries have jumped on the bandwagon to promote their own IoT applications, especially in conjunction with the theme of the digital economy and smart city. More importantly, innovations in IoT have much to do application. Compared to IoT applications inside the firm (for example Industry 4.0), IoT applications at social spheres seem to present more challenges, which are related to the aspects of behavior and social interfaces of the broadly-defined customer space.

As a result, for the innovators and policy makers involved, they need to address the social interfaces involved in an appropriate manner. In many cases, they also need compound innovations, especially in conjunction with business models; not just technological innovations alone. Therefore, the innovators and policy makers have to change the way in which they innovate and interact with the changing innovation ecosystem.