Internet of Things for Smart Government

Published 17 Nov 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) is ushering in an era of smart cities and smart government. The benefits of smart government include reduced operating costs, increased responsiveness, improved sustainability, higher efficiency, constantly-available process data, and greater citizen satisfaction. In the consumer world, people have become familiar with smart consumer devices that enable interaction with the smart home via mobile phone. As this moves into government and commercial realms, significant new considerations must be managed. Along with flexibility, access to rich data, and entirely-new applications and configurations, come elevated concerns about security, safety, privacy, reliability, and manageability.

One important aspect of smart government is the use of IoT to efficiently control resources used for lighting, heating, and cooling. Smart buildings optimize energy usage via hundreds of IoT sensors and controls. All of these devices must be easily on-boarded to the network and protected against unauthorized usage. Smart buildings often house sensitive research gear, medical devices, and thousands of analytical instruments that require strictly-controlled and monitored network access.

With the advent of thousands of IoT network devices, government networks have become more complex, posing a growing challenge for the IT staff supporting them. Network managers are reassessing their approach to smart device support and how to best apply business intelligence to the network. IoT devices can range from smart LED street lights and parking meters, to complex analytical devices. In the government medical research field, devices joining the Internet of Things include Wi-Fi enabled IV pumps, blood gas analyzers, telemetry systems, mobile x-ray machines, ultrasound units, hemodialysis devices and glucose meters. These all require the highest reliability and bandwidth, as well as security to control and analytics to monitor all network activity.

Smart cities are on the rise due to the proliferation of low cost Internet-connected devices that make it easy to monitor and control municipal functions like parking, traffic, lighting, security, and environmental control. Video can be readily captured across the city. Insightful and actionable data on the workings of government are available in real time, delivered via smart phone. Smart cities are able to reduce expenses by optimizing energy consumption. Sensors for parking, traffic, lighting, environmental control, potholes, and transportation make possible new services involving infrastructure, buildings, and public transportation.

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