The “Smart Cities” movement continues to gain traction, but what role is the Internet of Things (IoT) playing at the state level?

A new report released by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) reveals states are unprepared for the IoT movement: Only one out of five state CIOs say their state has moved to the formal discussion phase–and zero states have adopted policies and developed an IoT road map.

The report, titled “Value and Vulnerability: The Internet of Things in a Connected State Government,” surveyed state CIOs about IoT and to what extent it falls on their agendas:

  • 23 percent say no discussion of IoT at this time.
  • 53 percent say still investigating IoT in state government through informal discussions.
  • 18 percent say formal discussions on IoT applications, data collection, security.
  • 6 percent say IoT referenced in the state IT strategic plan.
  • 0 percent say they’ve developed an IoT road map to guide adoption and deployment.
  • 0 percent say they’ve adopted IoT policies, data, framework, and security controls.

The report dives into different facets of state planning and provides recommendations as to how CIOs should incorporate IoT into each, citing various success stories in areas of transportation, health care, public safety, and tourism.

States can harness the power of IoT to track transportation data in real time–monitoring speeds and road conditions, for example–to provide citizens with safer roads, better infrastructure, and more efficient citizen services.  Additionally, states can leverage data analytics and home health monitoring to increase the quality of citizens’ health care and understanding of habits, respectively.

The report reminds states to establish an IoT policy framework prior to fully integrating IoT into policies. The policy framework should address how to use the sensors and collect data in order to avoid wasted funds while ensuring the safety and privacy of constituents’ information. Other areas states should take into account: data management and standardization, funding and investments, legislation, broadband, and emerging trends in IoT.

According to a study released by Cisco last year, data generated by IoT is predicted to quadruple over time, resulting in more than 500 zettabytes of traffic per year by 2019, consuming an estimate 8.6 zettabytes of cloud storage.

IoT is here to stay, requiring state CIOs to craft an IoT road map for successful integration into formal enterprise architecture.

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