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Government IoT (GIoT) Challenges

By: Toby Ruckert

Today, we are at the verge of a huge transformation in the way we live. This transformation led by digitization and a realization of IoT in many parts of our lives will put governments in a very crucial position. The promise of IoT holds as many benefits as challenges ahead.

An increasingly connected world operated by devices and machines provides significantly more opportunity for cyber-crime, so governments and related regulation will play a major role to keep citizens safe.

As various governments approach IoT with their own strategies (here is a good article on the state of Europe’s IoT efforts), this may lead to a clash of standards that defy the premise IoT holds – “to make everything connected”. Just like certain parts of the world drive on the left and the rest on the right side of the road, it is safe to assume this might happen in the future with IoT standards – but then it will be a much bigger problem to handle in a connected world with global citizens.

Security protocols and cyber-crime prevention for different IoT standards will also need much more resources and will provide different results for different standards.

While the reality of IoT is still not recognized in its true importance by many people, I believe that governments are at the center of this ecosystem and have to play a leading role. The idea of waiting until the industry is fully developed can have many consequences. There are many other concerns besides the above as well, take for example Elon Musk’s concerns over AI (Artifical Intelligence) which could very well play a role in shaping the IoT world. Or as a friend recently put it – “we better build it before it builds us”

There are many issues that require governments to come together and move forward in this area together for once the industry is already established, it will be much more difficult to handle such issues. The first and foremost priority is to unify standards and to unify the mode of communication between things. This unification will create simplicity and will lay a clear basis for further development into a truly IoT world.

What are your thoughts on what governments should focus on in terms of IoT, Smart City initiatives and their related challenges? Security? Interoperability? Collaboration?

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