The Internet of Everything (IoE) connects people, data, processes, and things in ways that were never previously possible—and government organizations are taking the lead in harnessing its power. It’s estimated that the IoE will help public sector entities generate a whopping $4.6 trillion in value over the next decade1 through cost reductions, increased revenues, and enhanced productivity. Most importantly, the IoE is improving citizens’ lives.
By envisioning and pursuing the possibilities of the IoE, public entities are overcoming traditional barriers, such as limited funding and staffing and directing more of their resources toward innovation. The experiences and challenges of public sector entities are not unlike those faced by most businesses.
Although only a small percentage of devices are connected to the Internet today, the possibilities across an entire range of industries—private and public—are achievable and inspiring. IoE-driven public sector innovations are delivering positive, measurable results, some poised to transform entire sectors of the economy.
The potential for transforming healthcare through the IoE is tremendous, yet it is still largely untapped. The University of Virginia (UVA) Center for Telehealth is making strides to change that.
At UVA, video conferencing and networked medical devices are providing medical examinations and services across 40 specialties to patients in remote areas of Virginia. To date, the service has conducted approximately 40,000 clinical interactions to people who may not have received care. So far, UVA Telehealth has saved patients from traveling 8.9 million miles. In addition to helping people in the state of Virginia, UVA Telehealth doctors mentor physicians and examine patients in disadvantaged communities in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Imagine the possibilities for the private sector. Wearable sensors could carry out continuous monitoring of the elderly, alerting relevant caregivers when necessary. Or researchers could mine data from a variety of sensors and other sources to see which treatments are most effective, identify patterns in hospital readmissions, or gain other insights.
The financial services industry can also benefit from the IoE. In India, many people do not have a permanent address or formal identification. This can make it difficult to deliver services and create opportunities for fraud. To address this, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has signed up 620 million people for a biometric verification program. The program has already improved the delivery of benefits and services to citizens by helping ensure people get the services they are entitled to.
By eliminating duplication and fraud, along with improved efficiencies in service delivery, the country is expected to save an estimated $10 billion, while setting the stage for wide usage of biometrics-based financial transactions. The use of biometrics, connected through the Internet, can help financial institutions of all kinds identify security concerns. Biometrics can be used across all digital channels—online, mobile, and social—and are capable of becoming a new norm for the industry as a whole.
Operational Efficiencies, Transformed Experiences
The IoE has the potential to transform daily business operations across industries. For example, Israel’s largest municipal water utility, Hagihon, is using a smart water management and conservation system that combines sensors with advanced analytics. The system uses algorithms to identify irregularities that indicate a leak or flow problem.
Hagihon can then fix the leak before it causes an interruption in water service.
The City of Stockholm is developing a system that will use data gathered from its traffic congestion system, video cameras, weather patterns, and accident records to predict when traffic problems are likely to occur. With this data, the city can make various adjustments—change traffic signal times, close lanes or tunnels, or change speed limits—to ease congestion and improve safety.
The City of Barcelona is providing wireless Internet access at bus stops. What would have been wasted time for passengers has become a media-rich experience.
These types of IoE-enabled applications and use of the data they generate applies directly to business. Imagine delivering customized financial services messages in near real time to customers on their smartphones, whether they need a mortgage or auto loan. Think about the potential of marketing to consumers when they are standing in line or traveling on a subway.
Consider the savings a large corporation could accrue simply from managing its power, cooling, and water consumption smarter through Internet-connected sensors. Think of the convenience and consumer cost savings if insurance company-issued car monitoring devices would allow motorists to pay insurance only for the amount of driving they do.
The IoE offers rich and untapped ways to unlock value. Many organizations in the public sector are realizing their visions for how the IoE can transform lives. IT leaders in businesses are now starting to recognize the transformative possibilities, too.
The IoE Positively Impacts Public and Private Organizations:
Whether organizations are in the public are private sector, the IoE can result in increased revenues, better satisfaction, and positive impact to the bottom line. When citizen and employee productivity improves, then costs are reduced and innovation and revenues can maximize growth. And better services, whether they are delivered to the public or to customers, result in increased revenues.
1 Internet of Everything: A $4.6 Trillion Public-Sector Opportunity