Is Government Ready for the Internet of Things?

Published on June 9, 2015

The vision behind the “Internet of Things” is highly compelling. One day everything – from home appliances to door locks – could be controlled by an IP address.

According to Gartner, the “Internet of Things” will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020, representing an almost 30-fold increase from 2009. In addition, Cisco Systems predicts that the “Internet of Things” will generate $4.6 trillion for the public sector well before 2025.

This rise of pervasively Internet-connected computers communicating with other devices and humans in an automated manner will bring both exciting opportunities and challenges. These types of highly connected, data-driven systems are poised to change everything from national security to office management for government.

Though a big question remains – are government agencies ready for this paradigm shift?

According to a recent FCW article, the “Internet of Things” will offer major complexities for agencies to manage, which points to the need for serious changes to prep government for this shift.

These complexities include too many standards, and the most significant one: security. From a consumer perspective, some experts believe that some devices will be hijacked by hackers, and be programmed to work against us.

This is also a challenge for government where each Internet-connected device could become a point of entry for hackers. A recent IDC study predicts that 90 percent of businesses will face an “Internet of Things” security breach by next year.

In order for government to fully and securely embrace the “Internet of Things,” we need to work collectively to develop the right standards and solutions. Industry members will be playing an even more significant role in advancing solutions for security and data management.

The “Internet of Things” comes down government being able to manage massive volumes of data from a seemingly infinite amount of sources and sensors – all in a secure fashion.

This is a herculean challenge, but it can be met. If industry and government work closely together, we can develop the right solutions to leverage “The Internet of Things” for mission success in ways we have never imagined before.

 

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