Opportunity for Vendors to Shape IoT Standards in State Government

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By Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Like many other states, Ohio has a multitude of smart, connected projects that include a drone detection system, autonomous and connected vehicle corridors, and a federally funded smart city project in Columbus. You can now find another project underway: the development of a new common framework for the state’s digital transportation technologies.

A contract to create this framework was awarded to AECOM Technical Services and is pending state legislative approval. AECOM has been tasked with developing strategies to ensure device interoperability, proper data management and effective government-industry partnerships. The goal of this exercise is to make sure that all of the technology developments that go into creating autonomous vehicles can be implemented on standardized technology platforms that will enable an autonomous vehicle to traverse the entire state without problems.

To understand the magnitude of an endeavor like this, you must understand how the typical IoT or “smart” project is developed. Typically, governments develop ideas and pilots in a vacuum, each embarking on their own “from scratch” initiative. Each initiative requires the development of infrastructure and networking, selection of devices, deployment of technology, and collection of data and analysis. For governments like the City of Columbus, this doesn’t present an insurmountable task as many of the necessary pieces already exist. However, where this becomes a barrier is at smaller local governments who don’t have the staff, resources or funding to plan and implement each of those steps.

A common framework would help with the tedious tasks of identifying the infrastructure and network requirements. Smaller governments could then spend more of their time pinpointing the areas where a smart project will have the greatest benefit and get their projects up and running faster. As cities and local governments embark on smart projects, there is an opening for states to act as the aggregator, helping drive a precise and repeatable IoT strategic platform that local governments can leverage.

While Ohio is just starting the process, we might see many more states follow Ohio’s example and create common standards for IoT and smart projects. These common standards might be the key to growth of IoT in the state and local arena. This is where industry comes in, pushing states and other organizing bodies to develop standards for IoT technology. This can help remove the burdens placed on vendors that come from custom solution development for each new project.

The NASPO Cloud contract provides a baseline for states to buy cloud solutions and was the result of successful multi-state collaboration. State officials could follow the same path with IoT.

IoT is an area of immense growth potential, but one that still lacks direction. This is an opportunity for industry to step in and collaborate with state and local governments on the development of IoT standards that can help ensure the goals governments have become a reality instead of a tangled mess.

Reach out to your customers and start the conversation. Help shape the standardization of IoT.

Want to learn more about IoT adoption in state and local government? Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog to get tips for selling IT to government in your inbox.

Need guidance on where to start?  Learn more about how immixGroup’s Market Intelligence organization can help.

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