89% See Potential Benefits Of Smart Cities, 36% Have Projects Underway

While brands and marketers grapple with how to deal with an IoT future, governments officials around the country are tackling various aspects of creating so-called smart cities.

And just as brands and agencies work with numerous new meanings of terms like big data and real time, government entities are looking at concepts like M2M (machine-to-machine) and smart everything.

A new study aggregated some of the viewpoints of these government execs to see what themes they’re dealing with and how they view the Internet of Things.

The study comprised a survey of 170 federal, state and local government personnel with decision-making responsibility around technology. It was conducted by CompTIA, a nonprofit industry trade association.

The most common concept for these exes is connectivity, which is pretty much what a lot of the Internet of Things is all about. Here are the terms they associate with IoT:

  • 55% -- Connected
  • 50% -- Intelligent system
  • 39% -- Smart
  • 33% -- Machine-to-machine
  • 30% -- Data streams
  • 25% -- Futuristic
  • 16% -- Extension of the Internet
  • 15% -- Security disaster waiting to happen
  • 15% -- Solution looking for a problem

The good news is that top-level awareness of IoT stands at about 59%, though awareness of other areas such as drones and self-driving cars is higher.

However, there’s awareness and then there’s activity.

While more than a third (36%) either have a formal IoT initiative underway or at least an experimentation pilot going, 38% have nothing going and don’t plan to. The other 25% have nothing underway but plan to do something within a year.

The development of smart cities will impact marketing in a big way.

The same sensors that can be used to control street lights and parking management can be used to capture pedestrian (consumer) data.

Combining this data with in-store activity, courtesy of beacons, Wi-Fi and smart lighting, can paint a more cohesive picture of consumer behavior.

A majority (89%) of government officials expect the Internet of Things will definitely (50%) or probably (39%) provide value.

That value ultimately will be extended into consumer interactions.

The Internet of Things will be everywhere where there’s a consumer.

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