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Most public sector IoT projects aren’t making it off the ground

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of public sector IT decision-makers say that their organisation has not made use of IoT commercially so far, according to a survey commissioned by Yotta.

While 39% had run pilots but not any live commercial deployments, more than a third (35%) had not made any IoT deployments at all.

The research also found that public sector IT decision-makers saw ‘security concerns’ as among the biggest obstacles councils face in making effective use of IoT-based technologies.

Nearly four out of ten (38%) of respondents saw this as a ‘main challenge’, with more than a third of the survey sample (35%) referencing ‘perceived cost of implementations’ in this category.

The survey also highlighted ‘lack of skilled in-house expertise’ (referenced by 34%) and ‘integration challenges with existing systems’ (31%) as concerns.  

Manish Jethwa, chief product and technology officer, Yotta said, “It is clear that while the technology is increasingly coming on stream and offers a wide range of benefits that public sector organisations could potentially tap into, many are still holding back from implementing it.  

“There is a need for a process of education here both to reassure organisations regarding their concerns and to guide them through the journey to IoT so that they can start tapping into the many benefits that implementing connected infrastructure can bring.”

Respondents were asked what they saw as the biggest benefits of IoT-based technology in terms of managing assets and infrastructure today.

35% of IT decision-makers polled, the highest single percentage, referenced the ‘ability to achieve more predictive asset management and maintenance’, while 32% referenced ‘the ability to use real-time data to deliver a better service to the public’.

Highways management was the single area of infrastructure asset management where respondents saw the greatest potential for sensor-based technology, with 26% ranking it among their top two choices. 

This was followed closely by waste management, referenced by 22%, street lighting (20%), and ‘green spaces’ and ‘bridges and structures’ (both highlighted by 16% of the sample overall).

Jethwa added, “Public sector organisations are increasingly aware that building a connected infrastructure gives them the potential to get ahead of the game and by helping them gain greater insight into what is happening across their asset portfolio, intervene to resolve issues before they turn into serious concerns.

“It is not just about improving operational performance though,” he continued. “Far from it. Organisations increasingly value being able to harness insight from the latest data to continuously refine and improve the service they deliver to people.”

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