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Top 10 Ways Public Sector Organizations Are Capturing IoE Value Today

At Cisco, we have identified the Internet of Everything (IoE) as the next wave of the Internet, an explosion of connectivity among people, process, data, and things. We have estimated that these connections in the IoE offer a staggering $19 trillion in Value at Stake over the next decade for both private and public sectors. And now that IoE is here, it’s important to talk about how both enterprises and public-sector organizations can take full advantage of this market transition. To help, Cisco is offering two comprehensive pieces of thought leadership to illustrate a roadmap for IoE. A Fast IT strategy helps enterprises capture their share of the IoE Value at Stake. The Internet of Everything in the Public Sector research explores how IoE is transforming government to demonstrate how public-sector organizations can capture their share of the IoE Value at Stake.

By Joseph Bradley

What comes to mind when I say “government efficiency”? The public sector often gets a bad rap when it comes to technology; however, a closer look into government organizations reveals a much different picture.

Building on its’ groundbreaking public sector research, which showed the IoE value of stake over 10 years to be $4.6 trillion, Cisco and Cicero Group just completed an in-depth study of more than 40 leading government organizations worldwide.  The research examined real-world projects that are operational today and represent the cutting edge of IoE readiness and maturity.

Analyzing this research, Cisco Consulting Services gleaned the 10 key insights for how government organizations are capturing IoE value today. These insights are powerful for any company or organization wanting to thrive in a world where change and disruption caused by the convergence of cloud, mobile, social, and information, is the norm.

To whet your appetite, here are three of the Top 10 insights.

1. Public sector organizations are leading IoE innovators. The public sector is an excellent proving ground for IoE because of the size of many government institutions, the number of people they serve, and the difficult problems they must solve. The 40 jurisdictions we studied rival the best private-sector firms. The vision, scope, and execution of their IoE initiatives provide a model for both private and public sector organizations to follow.

My take is that in today’s increasingly connected world, public sector leaders know that change isn’t constant, it’s instant. And they are acting appropriately – they are leading the way.

2. Cities use comprehensive strategies to generate IoE value. Cities are well positioned to improve the quality of citizens’ lives through IoE because they provide (or source) many of the services upon which citizens rely, including transportation, law enforcement, education, water, and (sometimes) Internet connectivity.

The City of Amsterdam’s Smart City strategy typifies this approach. It includes 47 IoE projects, such as smart energy grid systems, street lighting, parking application, building management, and public Wi-Fi. Many of these projects span multiple city departments, and involve private sector stakeholders. At the center of Amsterdam’s IoE strategy is an open IT infrastructure that will provide a platform for IoE-based innovations for years to come.

My perspective is that Moore’s Law is alive and well in the public sector. Government leaders know that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. But, they also know to do it over the course of dinner, not a year.

3. IoE solutions must address people and process, not just data and things. Successful IoE initiatives are characterized by a focus on the process improvements that accompany technology innovations, and the many “people” issues that are critical to success. These issues include getting employees to embrace new roles and responsibilities, using training and recruiting to obtain needed skills, and, critically, getting the users of IoE systems to adopt them.

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is in charge of paving the way for the efficient, resource-friendly, and sustainable implementation of infrastructure projects in the Port of Hamburg. The HPA is the contact point for all kinds of questions concerning waterside and landside infrastructure, the navigational safety of vessel traffic, port railway facilities, port property management, and economic conditions within the port area..

Facing growing transportation volume, the HPA developed a strategy to extend its IT architecture, revamp its business processes, and scale its operations. Now, when a ship comes into the harbor, HPA’s systems indicate that it is approaching. This allows HPA to get real-time information to those who need it, including ship pilots, cargo handlers, environmental monitors, and so forth. People receive data at the right time so they can invoke the proper processes when needed.

As Dr. Sebastian Saxe, chief information officer, Hamburg Port Authority, describes it, “The Internet of Everything incorporates the technology, tries to build a control process, and includes people in this process in order to build more intelligent systems…If you try to approach this type of model and you leave out processes and people, you are going to be left with half-truths, or an incomplete solution.”

My view is that people are at the center of IoE. If people aren’t an integral part of the solution, whether it’s for the public or private sector, what’s the point?

To learn about the other insights and government initiatives go here. Also feel free to contact or follow me on Twitter at @JosephMBradley.

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