Federal, state and local agencies are continuing to realize the benefits of the Internet of Things. This network of interconnected sensors can potentially deliver valuable data on all kinds of public concerns. The IoT adds to the growing wellspring of government big data, helping agencies realize community improvement goals and strengthen civic engagement.
The data generated by the Internet of Things can lead to greater government efficacy, as well. According to American City & County contributor Shawn Rodriguez, the IoT will be a game changer for government offices once organizations become fully integrated. Sensors that monitor infrastructure like sewer systems, water pipes and roadways may provide governments the necessary data to improve overall public health.
“The ability to collect user data and put it to use to better serve constituents directly is a transformative power at the state and local level,” Rodriguez said. “The Internet of Things is just in its infancy, but for state and local governments it is easy to see that this kind of data collection will be mission critical in determining the future course of constituent service.”
Rodriguez stressed that it will be crucial for state and local governments to include IoT implementation into their budgets in the future. Equally as important will be the need for governments to find ways to store and analyze the generated data and help them understand what, exactly, the numbers mean. Big data analytics will be integral for organizations to implement infrastructure changes and improvements.
How is the IoT being used today?
The IoT offers a veritable trove of information for organizations hooked in, and some are already taking advantage of the benefits of that actionable data. For instance, according to American City & County, in Foster City, California, parking is becoming easier with a cloud-based application that lets citizens know where cars are parked due to wireless sensors placed in spots around the city. This is not only indicative of the usefulness of the IoT – it also shows that government cloud computing is crucial for community improvement.
In an interview with American City & County, Sidney Perkowitz, a physics professor at Emory University, stressed the emerging importance of technological revolutions like the IoT. According to Perkowitz, organizations can use the IoT to accomplish a number of important goals, from keeping inventory on emergency supplies to gathering data on weather events and water distribution.
Some states have projects in the works to improve or develop existing infrastructure. Missouri is one of them. According to Government Technology, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission announced at the beginning of June that the state would be pursuing a project intended to form the first smart highway in the U.S. The project includes plans to rebuild a 200-mile stretch of Interstate 70.
It’s clear that no matter what the IoT is used for in the future, the data it generates will be valuable for federal, state and local governments to continue to better serve the public.