Governments using Internet of Things to Improve Citizens Experience

There has been quite a talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), but what does it actually mean? Internet of Things is actually the Internet of Everything; it is a network of objects connected to each other. These objects could be devices such as appliances, cellphones, headphones, lamps, doors, wearable materials, etc. which are equipped with sensors, software, and electronics to exchange data with other connected devices.

San Francisco is using IoT technology to assist with everyday traffic needs. There are thousands of sensor-laden parking meters installed in the city. This technology aids drivers to find a parking space faster using an app. The parking meters adjust themselves periodically to utilize the parking space efficiently. The program also adjusts pricing to match the demand for open parking spaces. As cited in the above example, most devices do not even need a human intervention to respond; they just analyze the situation with sensors and provide a solution. Thus, IoT is nothing but a series of electronically induced devices that can communicate with users and giving them useful information.

Though the Internet of Things is simple to understand, it is actually very difficult for different devices to have a common platform for communication. According to IDC Corp, a research firm, Internet-connected devices are expected to be 200 billion in number by 2020. Considering this exponential increase in internet activated devices, machine to machine interaction is highly likely to outdo human to machine interaction.

So let us see how Governments can actually IoT to improve citizen experience and public sector operations:

1) Revenue Maximization

Think of a smart building that can assess its energy systems through IoT integration and lower operating costs by reducing energy consumption. This energy optimization can generate savings of up to $100 billion. GSALink has already taken such initiative and thousands of sensors are installed to monitor energy use in federal buildings. After the collection of data points, performance is measured against the manufacturer’s expectations. This difference then determines if a building is consuming the right amount of energy and whether there is a scope for cost savings.

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2. Workforce Productivity

Employee safety and punctuality are every office’s major concern, so think of IoT connected sensor systems which can make employees reach office safely. Moreover, think of a scheduler that can automatically schedule or defer meetings and give calendar alerts by analyzing an employee’s current location. This will prove extremely helpful in increasing workforce productivity and engagement. Also, a system could monitor employee’s behavior on old and newly formed polices and use the data gathered to help the government fine-tune its practices to have novel and employee-friendly public sector models.

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3. Improved Civilization

The government at all levels is always planning to have an optimized strategy to provide better cities to civilians. IoT can resolve traffic problems by having sensor-activated traffic lights or save costs on energy consumption by switching on street lights only when someone is using the path. Also, there can be sensor-activated trash cans that can signal trash collectors to plan their route accordingly, providing better garbage collection.

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4. Digital Innovation

As IoT applications will always be collecting information, so think of what opportunity lies ahead with this huge information. This could help data scientists and analysts extracts social problems and come up with innovative solutions. Things could be as simple as informing people about nearby potholes to street bumps.

With a huge amount of data collection at hand, the government should be thinking about the Internet of Things and prepare for its widespread adoption in the public sector. The Internet of things will help civic technologists to dive into the Internet of public things and generate surprising results.

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