Anticipate, sense, and respond
Connected government and the Internet of Things
Like companies, government agencies are striving to deliver quality services in increasingly complex environments. The public sector is also looking at ways to apply Internet of Things to find new value for citizens, aiming to enhance capabilities, streamline processes, and engage partners.
IoT applications in government
“If the Internet of Things has to do with home automation or automation of the car or controlling devices like security systems through the Internet… what does it have to do with any of the service-providing departments of government?” Just like this respondent in a 2014 GovLoop survey, many people may wonder what the IoT has to do with government. Admittedly, it may be difficult to see the immediate relevance of sport sensors or connected appliances, but deriving value from information collection and analysis is central to many government missions. The IoT can increase value by both collecting better information about how effectively public servants, programs, and policies are addressing mission challenges, as well as helping government deliver services based on real-time and situation-specific conditions.
We explore the implications for IoT applications in a few classic public-sector domains and posit three ways in which these new tools might redefine work:
· Eliminate routine tasks: Teachers shift time from classroom procedures to personal instruction
· Enhance capabilities: Public safety officers respond faster and more proactively to emergencies
· Engage partners: Localities build an ecosystem for water conservation and security
Turning vision into reality
One thing is certain: Government agencies that adopt a wait-and-see attitude toward the IoT are unlikely to develop the expertise or engender the trust needed to effectively and efficiently deliver services in this new reality and to reassure citizens concerned about how this new technology will affect them. On an organizational level, public sector leaders ready to start tapping into the potential of IoT technology can begin by identifying specific, pressing mission challenges, and then analyze how more or better information, real-time analysis, or automated actions might help address them. By solving for concrete problems, governments can more effectively identify the technical, organizational, and talent changes necessary to realize new benefits— and scale what works.