Flooding is an issue that has been plaguing Vietnam for years, with the recent ones that inundated the provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh in central Vietnam being severely devastating. Despite being a longstanding issue in the country with billions of Vietnamese dongs spent to ease flooding situations in the country’s provinces and cities, the problem persists. Clearly, more substantial flood mitigation projects should be put in place.
In view of the severity of Vietnamese floods, government agencies and city councils are establishing measures to alleviate the issue. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) authorities recently set specific goals and decided to apply more serious measures in the action plan to reduce flooding in the 2016-2020 term.
According to the HCMC Planning & Investment Department and the HCMC Operation Center against Flooding, the total capital to be mobilized in the next five years to tackle the issue is VND74.35 trillion (USD 3 billion). Some projects that are being set out include the construction of waste water treatment plants and upgrading of water drainage system.
However, many past projects have not been able to fulfil their full potential, largely because the technology deployed have not been robust. This reflects the larger issue at hand where the IoT ecosystem in Vietnam—and in many other emerging markets—is fragmented.
Going back to the issue of flooding, effective applications of Internet of Things (IoT) for disaster prevention are greatly anticipated. In the context of flood disaster prevention, flash flood warning and flood impact analysis based on massive data collection are critical. Yet, it is also important to propose an IoT system that is based away from servers due to the probability of network overload and feedback delay. A disaster-tolerant access network is therefore important in such situations.
To achieve this and to effectively implement city-level IoT projects, there is a need for stronger cooperation and partnership between local and international IoT players. This flooding issue sheds light on the opportunities that international IoT solution providers can tap on in Vietnam.
In our recent visit to HCMC last week, we found that many local system integrators and IoT solution providers are realizing that IoT projects cannot exist in silo. This has led to greater interests in seeking partnerships with more experienced players in the IoT space to complement their solutions and technologies; be it in terms of platforms, hardware, or software.
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In a nutshell, to solve the issue of system fragmentation, integration is key. Viettel, a local telco, puts the IoT situation into perspective:
“We don’t have enough capability to expand IoT, so we are planning to develop IoT platforms to support IoT developers with connectivity and software development.”
Case in point, effective IoT technologies and projects do not work in silo and partnership and collaboration between local and international IoT players are essential to ensure the success of IoT projects implementation in markets and to ensure a lasting effect for IoT in Vietnam.
Zaidani is a Marketing and PR Analyst at Asia IoT Business Platform – a business program that aims to drive the digital transformation of enterprises in ASEAN. Through his articles, he aims to reveal the potential and opportunities for IoT deployment in ASEAN that IoT solution providers can leverage for their business development in the region. This article was also published on LinkedIn.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ASEAN Economic Forum.