Why is the public sector falling behind with the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things could improve digital services across the public sector, but why has its uptake been so slow?

In the Chancellor’s Budget last month, George Osborne announced £40 million of government funding for the Internet of Things, whilst experts approved of the gesture, they criticised the amount.

The truth is, that’s nothing. A venture capital company would provide this kind of funding,” said John Bates, head of industry solutions at Software AG.

He suggested tax breaks for early adopters could “remove the risk aversion.”

Jon Hook, vice-president of platform and product at Phunware, added “it’s hard to see what £40m will achieve.”

Tim Wilson, former deputy head of ICT for NHS City and Hackney, warned that “the talent has moved to the private sector”, as a more risk adverse public sector is apprehensive to adopting expensive unproven technology.

Business people see these opportunities and realise they are game-changers, but local authorities don’t think the same way,” Bates asserted.

The public sector needs to pay better salaries so it can get more visionary IT leaders,” he added.

In addition, much of the UK is currently lacking the infrastructure to support the Internet of Things, with a lack of communications system, insufficient Wi-Fi connections and outdated hardware.

IoT is not seen as an immediate priority [when] weighed up against existing infrastructure projects,” Hook stated.

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