What the Internet of Things Means for the Public Sector

Let’s get one thing right straight out of the gate — no matter that it sounds like a futuristic buzzword, the Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new concept. “Home automation has existed for about 40 years,” said Dr. Joseph Ronzio, Health System Specialist and Special Assistant to the Chief Health Technology Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Some trace IoT’s origins as far back as, incredibly, the 1800s. But today? Government is setting up pilot programs and doing something with IoT, not just talking about it.

Some of you may still be asking: What is IoT? Simply put, IoT is a series of devices connected to one another via the Internet — and these devices can communicate with you through the information you enter or sensors you wear and operate. And most of it is automated, meaning these interactions can happen without your having to do anything. It might sound simple, but it’s a big deal: Internet-connected machines are expected to number 200 billion by 2020, according to research firm IDC Corp.

At that rate, these automated machine-to-machine transactions will outnumber human-to-computer transactions. So what does this mean for the public sector? And what programs are agencies and organizations developing to make use of this new technology?

Our latest GovLoop case studies guide will feature stories of real-world public-sector uses of IoT, with best practices, implementation tips and examples of how you can use this revolutionary technology.

Read on for how IoT is changing everything from disaster responses to basic transportation.

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