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What Does the Internet of Things Mean for Public Sector Organizations?

shutterstock_149015600The Internet of Things (IoT) is certainly a hot topic this summer for government agencies. Just a few months ago it seemed that the IoT was barely on anyone’s radar within the federal government. Yet, now research is being conducted, pilot programs are running, and there’s a thirst for knowledge.

While we might have a sense of how the Internet of Things might affect our lives on the home front, it’s not always clear just how IoT will look and affect public sector organizations. But, from emergency management to healthcare delivery and unmanned vehicles on the front lines, the Internet of Things has a broad application across many federal agencies.

While most IT teams focus on the upfront issues of IoT deployment – most notably on the security implications of a truly interconnected world – in order to leverage its benefits fully, a much broader view of how IoT will affect the entire IT ecosystem should be part of the conversation that many agencies will have over the next three to five years.

Chris Steel, Chief Solutions Architect at Software AG Government Solutions, wants government IT leaders to consider how the volume of data created by the Internet of Things is going to affect their infrastructure. In a recent interview with GovLoop, Chris noted that most organizations don’t think about the data they’re saving and if it’s important because there’s generally enough storage capacity available to accommodate holding on to every last piece of information. He went on to say “[b]ut what the Internet of Things does is brings a whole new magnitude to the amount of information that we’re trying to grab, and we just simply aren’t going to be able to take the traditional approach and store all that data for later analysis…What we need to do is decide up front what the valuable data is and triage it.”

For Steel, while the specific components of an agency’s architecture will vary, there are key components and best practices that all agencies will want to consider. For him these include:

• A real-time streaming analytics engine, one that can scale millions of events per second for data integration
• Predictive analytics to detect and mitigate problems preemptively
• Visual analytics capabilities to identify the right data automatically
• An integration engine to enable connected devices to work together regardless of protocol
• In-memory computing to boost processing speeds and execute quickly

This cohesive architecture that Steel emphasized allows the real power of the IoT to be realized because it allows the data to be manipulated and put to use in order to solve the domestic and international challenges that government agencies will be tasked with in the future.

Interested in learning more about how the Internet of Things will affect mission delivery and IT procurement? You can download GovLoop’s latest resource guide that covers these issues and more in depth here


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