Tuesday, 15 October 2013 21:51

Selling the Internet of Everything

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

In the past decade, technology has been pushing the boundaries in society, culture and business. In some ways, policy has yet to catch up to technology, which begs the question: will government be able to handle developments in technology that will occur in the next five to 10 years?

Carlos Dominguez, the senior VP of Cisco, was at GTEC 2013 last week to talk about these issues, particularly as they pertain to the notion of the “Internet of Everything.” The Internet of Everything is a theory that holds that at some point in the future, everything and everyone will be connected to the Internet somehow.

In his keynote speech, he gave an example of the Internet of Everything at work: a pill that, when ingested, can transmit vital signs from within the patient directly to the doctor.

With these developments, of course, come questions of privacy and ethics.

“How much information should people have? Who owns the data? We have a lot of issues like that that we need to wrestle through,” Dominguez said, adding that terms of service need to be more clear and understandable.

“The role of privacy is that we really need to allow people to understand exactly what is being done,” he continued. “Secondly, we need to have the right to opt out, and government plays a very significant role in that.”

He also touched upon other developments, such as the emerging technology of 3D printing, and the ethical dilemmas that come with them. A 3D printer is capable of producing firearms, patented objects, and human tissue and organs. It stands to reason that the government must step in and legislate aspects of this technology.

“What I would love to see is someone, or a group, that brings [public servants] up to date [on the issues],” Dominguez said. “Maybe this could be a public-private partnership. Maybe the private sector should come in and work with governments: ‘Here are the technologies that are out there that you should pay attention to, and here are the potential implications.’

“We have to address these issues, and government plays a crucial role, education plays a crucial role… so the businesses that are playing with these technologies should be brought in to talk about them and for people to understand it.”

Kim Devooght, VP of Public Sector Canada, Cisco, was careful to stress that the Internet of Everything can benefit the public service. He cited the use of sensors on pipes in Washington, DC’s sewage system to prevent pipe erosion or collapse – using methods like this, cities can avoid having to deal with minor disasters such as sinkholes.

“The role of government is to provide direct services to Canadians,” Devooght said, “or to create a regulatory environment that allows others to do that stuff.”

“When you have sensors out there, you’ll be able to detect certain things,” Dominguez added. “That will have an impact on resources – when do you put the resources, and where? And on how you serve your citizens, how you protect them. All of these technologies will enable a lot more of that.”

Read 2198 times
Amy Allen

Amy Allen is a staff writer with Canadian Government Executive magazine.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

Share this article

copy link

 bookmark article



Do you think a change in Clerk of the Privy Council will slow down public service reform?

Related Articles

Using gamification to open dialogue
Is there a gamified approach to citizen engagement by the public service? One extremely successful example of gamification is Idea Street in the U.K. Idea Street is a platform internal to the U.K. government, but the problems it is set in place to solve are similar to those in Canada.  read more...

Connection and collaboration for civic innovation
The act of linking people and ideas through communication and relationship building is critical to solving the complex problems that challenge us. Itu2019s also what will help us capitalize on new opportunities.  read more...

Media old and new in Toronto’s civic elections
Claims of a social media transformation in politics and government are widening. Calgaryu2019s Mayor Nenshi has been dubbed Canadau2019s first "social media Mayor" and, indeed, he dwarfs most every Canadian politician from any government level on Facebook and Twitter.  read more...

BYOD: Trending or hitting a wall?
For the past two-three years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been a hot topic for government IT leaders. In May 2013, Gartner called BYOD u201cthe single most radical change to the economics and culture of client computing since PCs invaded the workplaceu201d ...  read more...

An inside job: Staff upgrade Ontario's financial information system
On time, on budget and in scope! How often do you hear those words about large complex projects? Earlier this year, the Ontario government upgraded its enterprise-wide financial management application, the Integrated Financial Information System (IFIS).  read more...

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 1618261 Ontario Inc. O/A Navatar Press