Government report highlights radical potential of Internet of Things

Internet_of_ThingsAccording to a report published this week by the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, by taking the lead in developing the internet of things, the UK could transform the way the country lives and deliver huge benefits to the economy.  The internet of things – in which digital networks are connecting everyday objects so data can be shared – creates enormous opportunities for both the private sector and government. It also has the potential to be applied in many areas of everyday life, transforming the way we use energy, how we travel and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The number of connected devices could potentially reach up to 100 billion globally by 2020 and industry estimates also suggest that these technologies could have a global value of nearly £10 trillion by then.

The government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Mark Walport, has now published a report recommending how the UK digital economy could revolutionise if the government embraces the development of the Internet of Things.

The report has three self-defined objectives: firstly, to explain what government can do to help achieve the potential economic value of the Internet of Things; secondly to set out what Internet of Things applications can do to improve the business of government; thirdly to make recommendations based on the evidence.

The report makes many recommendations for government to successfully implement the Internet of Things, including:

  • The government should take the initiative with the Internet of Things and aspire to establish itself as a world leader with the technologies.
  • Implementation of the Internet of Things will be led by the government in removing potential obstacles, investing in solutions and setting the highest attainable ambitions.
  • The government should be “an expert and strategic consumer” and encourage players of all levels and sizes to enter the market to make the network as accessible as possible.
  • Government should develop a road map for implementation with experts and collaborate with industry and academia to maximise connectivity.
  • Support open data standards across all of government and regulated industry.
  • Encourage and facilitate the development of new skills in the school system and industry to develop an adequately skilled workforce.
  • Introduce a regulatory framework to police the Internet of Things – the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and Communications and Electronics Security Group (CESG) work with industry to develop “security by default”.

The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport, said: “We will only get the best from these technologies if academics, business leaders and government work together to ensure they deliver the greatest possible benefit to the public.”

Minister for Government Policy, Oliver Letwin commented: “The Internet of Things will be an economic powerhouse for the UK with millions of connections unlocking billions of pounds from tech and services.”