Enhancing E-Government With Internet of Things

Enhancing E-Government With Internet of Things

Panagiota Papadopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece), Kostas Kolomvatsos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) and Stathes Hadjiefthymiades (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7955-7.ch005
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Internet of things (IoT) brings unprecedented changes to all contexts of our lives, as they can be informed by smart devices and real-time data. Among the various IoT application settings, e-government seems to be one that can be greatly benefited by the use of IoT, transforming and augmenting public services. This chapter aims to contribute to a better understanding of how IoT can be leveraged to enhance e-government. IoT adoption in e-government encompasses several challenges of technical as well as organizational, political, and legal nature, which should be addressed for developing efficient applications. With the application of IoT in e-government being at an early stage, it is imperative to investigate these challenges and the ways they could be tackled. The chapter provides an overview of IoT in e-government across several application domains and explores the aspects that should be considered and managed before it can reach its full potential.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) creates an emerging new era of the Internet, in which machines and objects get connected and equipped with sensors, surpassing their traditional role to constitute dynamic actors of networked environments with novel services. The ubiquitous nature of IoT brings dramatic changes to the way we work and live, with an increasing adoption in various domains of personal and organizational activity. According to industry reports, IoT is a very promising technology and is predicted to flourish within the next years, as 127 new devices connect to the Internet every second (McKinsey, 2018). It is expected that more than 24 billion IoT devices will exist by 2020, which will be four times the world population, while by 2018 IoT penetration will cover half of the world population. Investments on IoT are predicted to reach $5-6 trillion (Newman, 2017). More than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some elements of IoT (Gartner, 2017). As IoT advances it is applied in government and the public sector allowing for services that improve the lives of the citizens (IBM Industries, 2017). IoT can bring unprecedented benefits in government systems and services, making a shift from e-government to smart government, transforming G2C, G2B and G2G transactions and processes.

IoT-enabled government information systems and applications can extend the type and the quality of the services offered with innovative smart provisions in a wide spectrum of domains. IoT affects a number of sectors including health, transportation, environment, communications, security/safety, energy, defense and smart cities. In each of these sectors IoT can be used to provide e-government services that can be valuable and helpful to citizens, the society and the environment.

Security and safety are of critical importance to the society and can become even more significant if they are related to areas such as public health or the environment. IoT can allow for the effective treatment of security and safety needs of the public sector through the sensing, processing and communication capabilities of autonomous devices. Critical areas, in aerial, maritime and ground contexts, can be greatly benefited by being monitored with the use of IoT technology to facilitate appropriate and timely action. In particular, the use of mobile IoT devices can enable a wide range of activities related to security and safety, such as the surveillance and monitoring of areas, the detection of threats, the effective management of events, the fast response to emergency situations, the notification about security/safety alerts and the communication of current status to people. Such IoT empowered activities can be applied to a number of contexts such as border surveillance and control for trespassing, weather monitoring and forecasting for intense or dangerous phenomena, air pollution detection, fire detection in forests and rural areas, monitoring of water level in rivers, lakes and the sea for avoiding floods or quality control of water for drinking and agriculture. IoT enables advanced e-government services that can be sustainable and efficient and which could not be previously affordable or even possible.

In all these cases, IoT systems and applications enable the provision of advanced services to people and the society in general, that can enhance their security and safety against a number of threats and in diverse contexts. These electronic services are offered to the public by the government, allowing for a better quality of life by protecting citizens and the environment. In addition, thanks to the use of IoT, these electronic government-to-citizen and government-to-society services eliminate the risk of putting people that are responsible for dealing with such incidents in danger. We believe that these critical public services are where IoT can bring most value to e-government.

Despite the increasing progress and interest in both areas of IoT and e-government, research on their combined use is scarce; Although some studies such as AlEnezi et al.’s, (2018) and Brous and Janssen’s (2015a, 2015b) can be helpful to our knowledge, how e-government can benefit and grow from IoT has not been adequately addressed yet. In order to gain a better understanding about how e-government can successfully leverage the IoT potential, a comprehensive approach of applying IoT in e-government is needed, covering both positive and negative aspects, technical and not-technical, associated with the combined use of e-government and IoT systems.

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