Connecting state and local government leaders

NASCIO: States Should Be Laying Groundwork for the Internet of Things

The Roundhouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Connecting state and local government leaders

“Before long we won’t be talking about IoT, it will just be the way we do business,” according to a new policy brief.

The Internet of Things is poised to dramatically alter infrastructure and public services in the coming years and states need to prepare for those changes, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers cautioned in a policy brief issued Wednesday.

A broad and fast-evolving category, the Internet of Things, or IoT, includes a wide range of emerging technologies relevant to state governments. Just a few examples are automated vehicles, sensors that can collect real-time data on roads and pollution, and devices to monitor the condition of bridges and water pipes.

But discussions about IoT remain nascent within many state governments, NASCIO has found.

A survey of state chief information officers the association conducted last year discovered that nearly one-quarter of respondents were not discussing IoT, while about half were engaged in informal discussions. None said their states had adopted IoT policies or security controls.

“Without specific policy on IoT, states will be caught unprepared to deal with the myriad issues that can arise with increasing connectedness,” the policy brief notes.

“There are issues of security, privacy, accessibility, data management and standardization, financing, legislation and bandwidth to consider,” it goes on to say. “Before long we won’t be talking about IoT, it will just be the way we do business.”

Darryl Ackley, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Information Technology, and NASCIO president, highlighted in a statement Wednesday the significant potential for IoT growth at the state level. “The more organized and methodical states can be about implementing IoT,” he also said, “the more successful and useful the outcomes.”

Among other recommendations, the NASCIO policy brief says state chief information officers should create an IoT roadmap, and that they should incorporate IoT into formal discussions about how state computer systems are managed, and how risks to those systems are assessed.

“IoT applications,” the brief adds, “will be both a boon and a burden for states.”

Bill Lucia is a Reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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