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Spimed citizens

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Internet of Things, Industrial Internet and ultimately spimes are usually linked to startups, telecoms and a few established conglomerates. Now that the hype cycle is peaking, many industries and sectors which might greatly benefit from IoTmay be somewhat overlooked.

One of them is the good old government. From a service provider (BaseN) perspective, the government actually has surprisingly many attributes which most IoT project managers can only dream of. Let’s have a look:

1. Government has users, that is, citizens. Millions of them, even in a small country like Finland. Brazil has 200 million. A clear scalability challenge.

2. Many services like tax collection and military are mission critical. When they fail, we quickly see Greece- or Ukraine-type issues and in the worst case, failed states.

3. Users tend to be loyal, as long as service levels are acceptable.

4. There’s Big Data, usually collected for at least 100 years with census and statistical centers.

5. A silo organization is usually the main modus operandi, starting from different ministries for education, healthcare, traffic & communications, defence, environment, energy – to name a few. Each minister is supposed to mind her or his own area.

6. There are built-in customer relationship channels, ranging from election eligibility to the judical system.

These were just a few which came to mind, but I’m confident that with bold enough out-of-silo thinking we’ll be able to combine and refine these services in unprecedented ways. Baby steps have already been taken in e.g. smart public transport and eHealth, but predominantly within their silos.

In order to spime the government, we must first put the citizen and her/his current and future services in the center stage, then gradually expand the picture to all areas of the government. This is a seismic shift what comes to the traditional government service creation, but I believe it is the only choice for any state to remain competitive. Perhaps we’ll need Spime Ministers to handle the transition.

//Pasi

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