Korea’s rapidly-aging society, compounded by a decrease in overall population are major issues that Korea is facing. But according to Cisco System’s Dominic Scott, “the solutions lie in big data and Internet of Everything.” He was speaking at the Big Data World Convention, which was recently held at the BEXCO Convention Center in Busan City.
Scott explained that the value of a big data network is equivalent to a square of the number of connections within it. Therefore, if a network has 50 billion connection points, it has the potential for creating a financial value of US$14.4 trillion. What he is saying is that the more data points we are able to collect and analyze from the world in which we live, the more we will be able to enrich that environment. There are obvious monetary benefits to doing this for companies in the big data and IoT / IoE space.
In order for Korea to capitalize on this enormous socio-economic opportunity, Scott cited a number of key areas that would require effort, that go beyond simply employing technical digital solutions to an otherwise analogue world.
Firstly, those in leadership positions within the industry must create far-sighted ambitions, foster global open standards, and well as adapt current regulations and policy to embrace new technologies. He also mentioned that private-public partnerships were key to the success of such projects. Further he suggested that a new ecosystem around big data should be built to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities in what he referred to as ‘the big data era’.
One startup in Korea that aims to tackle these problems is NF Labs. Sejun Ra saw an opportunity to simplify the task of analyzing big data and founded the company around three years ago. He states that with his service Peloton “our mission is to simplify the way the world analyzes data.” He continued, “We've brought innovation to many areas including the content delivery space and cloud as individuals, and now have joined forces to do the same to big data.”
Ra sees big data as a technology enabler, like computers, internet, and cloud technologies. But he pointed out that, with reference to Scott’s comments; “to truly attack the issues of aging population, policy, finance, and social change must occur, with technologies like big data providing support.”
Seongdo Smart City And The Future of Socio-Economic Big Data Convergence:
An example of how Korea has been leveraging big data in order to improve our environment is Korea’s ‘City in a Box,’ Seongdo. The Korean government made a great investment and passed policy to build a truly connected smart city to serve as a futuristic, eco-friendly hub of business in North East Asia. Big data and big data analytics are likely to play a vital role in Seongdo in analyzing and reviewing the success of the world’s first ‘smart city,’ so future socio-economic investments can produce even greater returns. Ra, regarded as a local expert on the big data industry, believes that “by simplifying powerful technologies like big data using services like his own Peloton, organizations can lower the cost and time to deliver large-scale analytics projects so policy, financial, and social decisions can be made quickly and accurately.”
Songdo will become a completely connected city, where almost any device, building or road will be equipped with wireless sensors or microchips. This will result in smart innovations such as streetlights that automatically adjust to the number of people out on the street, according to a local article. With so many citizens and workers using so many connected devices and services, Songdo will be a worthy big data creator, bringing big data to a whole new level. The data will provide valuable insights in how people work, live and think within the smart city.
Korea is one of the most wired nations on the planet and has the potential to be a global leader in using cutting-edge data technologies to improve the lives of its citizens. It remains to be seen if the government, in partnership with global tech conglomerates, like Cisco, can deliver.
In other related news: Cisco will be holding a hackathon in Korea and is inviting technologists and developers to participate. The aim is to gain access to new opportunities for the implementation of 'internet of everything' services that can be applied to Seongdo Smart City.