The Internet of Things: Shaping the Future of a Connected



The Internet of Things: Shaping the Future of a Connected
The Internet of
Things: Shaping
the Future of
a Connected
By leveraging the full potential of the
Internet of Things (IoT), agencies can
unlock new efficiencies and insights
that can transform how critical
services are built and delivered.
Beyond the Smart Fridge: Making IoT a Wider Reality 2
Propelling Meaningful Innovation:
Catalyzing Sustainable Transformation
Taking Your First Step: Lenovo Can Help
Intel Inside®. Powerful Solution Outside.
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According to research
firm IDC Corp., Internetconnected devices are
expected to number
by 2020.
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Beyond the Smart Fridge:
Making IoT a Wider Reality
Every day, we are adapting to a world in which virtually everything —
from cellphones and cars to washing machines — is increasingly
connected. No longer the stuff of science fiction, physical objects are
connecting to networks, communicating with devices and sensors,
and creating and sharing data to build the “Internet of Things.”
What does this mean for the average person? One enduring popular
example was the smart fridge: What if your refrigerator could tell you it
was out of milk, texting you as soon as its internal cameras saw there
was none left, or that the carton was past its expiration date?
In reality, the IoT is much more than smart homes and connected
appliances. It’s about helping people and organizations create new
ways of working while also fundamentally refreshing current
processes and priorities:
• Automation can help save money and build smarter services
that are more responsive and use resources more efficiently.
• Remote management simplifies how critical systems are deployed
and controlled, and it also empowers critical continuous monitoring.
• Data from sensors, people, and devices can be gathered, analyzed,
and shared back out across those same nodes, turning data into
insight and decisions.
In 2008, the number of things connected to the Internet surpassed
the number of people on Earth.1 According to research firm IDC Corp.,
Internet-connected devices are expected to number 200 billion by
2020.2 At that rate, these automated machine-to-machine transactions
will outnumber human-to-computer transactions soon.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a sweeping
congressional statement on IoT technology. It called for a “strategy
for the Internet of Things to promote economic growth and consumer
empowerment.”3 This milestone has accelerated the pace of
developing end-to-end solutions across industries and sectors,
converting the IoT into real-world revenue streams.
This ubiquitous connectivity between the Internet and devices presents
organizations with tremendous opportunity to reduce operating costs,
increase employee productivity, enhance citizen experiences, improve
agency connectivity, and accelerate meaningful innovation.
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According to a report released in May 2014 by
the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector
General (OIG), “the convergence between the
increasing amount of actionable data, the
ubiquity of network connectivity to integrate
and share this data, and the rapid development
of analytics may open up a new world of
opportunities for postal operators —
the ‘Internet of Postal Things.’”8
The USPS scans
each piece of mail up
to 11 times, that’s
scans per year.9
The use of IoT in
tracking mail has the
potential to lead to
massive cost savings.
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Even more than the consumer-facing sector, government is positioned
to be completely transformed by IoT technology. In the IoT market,
the smart cities industry generated $59.2 billion in revenue last year,
followed by smart building and infrastructure at $25 billion.4
A recent study based on agency-specific and cross-industry IoT
applications examined how interconnected systems could efficiently
utilize public resources and create new revenue streams for municipal
and regional governments.5 In terms of public-sector impact, the study
estimates that the IoT will offer a $4.6 trillion opportunity for global
public-sector organizations over the next decade.6 IDC claims that
by 2020, more than 50 percent of government agencies with direct
citizen engagement missions will direct at least 25 percent of their
programmatic budget to IoT-driven technologies.7
Studies suggest that cost reductions and service improvements
will result in tangible benefits to government agencies through the
evolution of connected devices. The use of the IoT in asset tracking,
HVAC systems, transportation, and logistics has the potential to lead
to massive cost savings.
The U.S. Postal Service, for example, scans each piece of mail up
to 11 times, a potential of 1.7 trillion scans a year.9 Leveraging IoT
technology, USPS-installed sensors on vehicles and packages,
coupled with robust analytics, combine to predict when an office
needs to staff up.
The USPS expects to leverage IoT technologies and develop
applications to protect and enhance its core business for cost
savings, operational efficiencies, new products and services, and
a better customer experience.
From building maintenance to hospital wards and city streets,
IoT-driven technologies can enable agencies of all sizes to push
the boundaries of productivity. The real-world ability to impact
employees through IoT-powered solutions can range from getting
them to the office faster via connected sensors to automatically
moving calendar meetings depending on their location.
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The General Services Administration’s Smart
Buildings program, “GSA Link,” meters
approximately 500 properties with more than
13,000 sensors embedded to measure water,
gas, solar power, and energy consumption. By
embracing the IoT, GSA uses that data to automate
the monitoring and maintenance of systems, cut
costs, and increase efficiencies.
State and local governments are harnessing IoT
technologies to address the needs of the world’s
rapidly urbanizing population from smart waterleak detection in Los Angeles, CA, to driverless
shuttles in Greenville, SC, to a gunshot-sensing
safety network in Ammon, ID.
By using the IoT, law enforcement agencies are
experiencing quicker access to information at
any time from virtually any place, enabling realtime collaboration, faster incident response,
investigation, and resolution.
The IoT is also impacting transportation
by leveraging predictive analytics and connected
sensors in vehicles and mining real-time bus
and train schedule visibility to improve traffic
operations, citizen driving, and commuter
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As the role of the mobile worker continues to grow, IoT-driven
technologies will become key to keeping employees engaged and
successful.10 With remote workers rarely coming in to the office
anymore, organizations can leverage IoT-driven predictive mobile
apps that seamlessly track and report activities, populate timesheets,
and manage project status updates. Several studies also examine
how, thanks to wearables, IoT technology is reinventing the
workplace. For example, “deskless” workers (such as service
technicians) can now use augmented reality (AR) glasses in the field
for their hands-free work.
The IoT also takes remote device management to a whole new level.
When a device they use requires maintenance, employees may
experience downtime as they wait for a technician to arrive and repair
the equipment — or troubleshoot it on the phone. But with IoTenabled devices, employees can get advanced notice about a
potential issue and, in some cases, the device can be fixed remotely
in much less time.
According to a 2014 survey of 251 professionals by Harvard
Business Review, organizations that support and encourage the use
of mobile devices by their employees are experiencing increased
user satisfaction.11 A majority of respondents believe mobile devices
have already transformed their organizations, and predict their
transformational impact will be even greater in two years.
Government agencies at all levels face the challenge of meeting
increased citizen expectations within the constraints of limited
budgets. To that end, many government organizations are looking
to harness IoT technology to help improve citizen engagement and
augment service delivery.
By using the IoT, several agencies are successfully making progress
in areas such as improved traffic flow, more intuitive building
maintenance, and water management. By applying IoT applications to
urban infrastructure and services, agencies are effectively developing
“smart cities,” successfully tracking their municipal assets, improving
processes and controls, and understanding citizen behaviors.
In addition to monitoring efficiencies and problem areas, by analyzing
IoT-derived data, city governments are proactively undertaking
predictive maintenance of urban assets as well. The Street Bump
app, deployed by the city of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban
Mechanics, exemplifies IoT-fueled predictive maintenance apps. It
uses a smartphone’s accelerometer and GPS to find and automatically
report potholes to the city, enabling proactive repairs and promoting a
safer urban environment.
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Global Smart
Meter Deployment12
The increased adoption of smart meters is
making utilities more reliable and efficient.
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Propelling Meaningful
Innovation: Catalyzing
Sustainable Transformation
With the rise in IoT applications, the amount of data that they generate
also continues to grow, creating new requirements for storage and
server responsibilities. Agencies who manage this correctly can inform
services, programs, and decisions with real data. But this means
strengthening the data center from the ground up.
46 million
285 million
1 billion
The private sector, accustomed to responding to market trends and
staying competitive, has made significant headway in turning the IoT
into a boon to efficiency and revenue. Government similarly needs to
stay abreast of these trends, moving toward an IoT-enabled future that
is secure and sustainable.
Across government, agencies are being tasked with keeping pace
with expanding customer service requirements emanating from an
increasingly connected economy. Through more open and standardsbased releases of IoT data, agency stakeholders — particularly those
in IT-driven roles — can tap into real-world infrastructure data and
create innovative government tools.
To that end, agencies need technology partnerships designed to
improve interoperability and support tools that dissolve the barriers
between diverse computing platforms, devices, and operating
systems. This will go a long way in supporting new priorities and
projects while staying focused on core agency mission goals.
At its very core, the IoT is about finding new ways to gain an insight
or advantage that has a practical impact on your mission. Whether
it’s monitoring a local water main for leaks or creating innovative new
transportation solutions, the IoT is already hard at work. As the IoT
technology evolves, so will the number of solutions around Internetconnected devices and objects.
Leading the Industry, Changing the World
In this new wave of innovation, collaboration is critical. Lenovo® is an
active supporter of leading industry efforts designed to create a shared
set of requirements and protocols for managing IoT communications
going forward. Not only does this match our vision of tomorrow, it also
fits with our ongoing commitment to interoperability in all our products.
Intel Inside®. Powerful Solution Outside.
Learn more about our government-ready portfolio at or follow us on Twitter @LenovoGov.
Taking Your First Step:
Lenovo Can Help
IoT innovation will
be conceived in the
consumer space
Projected new adoption of connected
technology by consumers13
In the next year
Five years from now
More than five years from now
Total expected adoption
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Even as agencies struggle with the IoT as a big idea, they are
already looking for partners to help them leverage this technology
in meaningful ways. Agencies need a technology partner who offers
products equipped to support the high-power information supply
chain and specialized digital workloads that will define the IoT
going forward, regardless of the shape it takes. Ultimately, this
depends on infrastructure.
From new sensors in strange places to automation of critical agency
processes, a robust backend architecture ensures the connections
made between real world problems and agency solutions are strong,
secure, and reliable. As Lenovo’s CTO Peter Hortensius points out,
these decisions are the foundation for everything IoT.
“…everything will be driven by some kind of return on
investment, and fitting into some kind of architecture.
So you’ll see controlled roll-outs with a clear return on
investment. The home is where it will get very interesting,
because the home user doesn’t buy according to an
architecture; they buy something that’s convenient, or
offers a function that they want, and then ask: ‘how does
this work with that?’ So standards will need to be put in
place or the market will stall because not enough things
work together — and that’s where we’re quite active.”
If history repeats itself, a lot of future IoT innovation will be conceived
in the consumer space and then slowly made “enterprise-ready”
and actionable for large organizations and government agencies
over time. As Hortensius says, another major challenge for IoT
adoption will be interoperability as industries and regulators work
to develop standards balancing innovation with the need to integrate
into existing environments.
The IoT is Waiting — Lenovo Can Get You There
So what’s next for your agency? In a market that gets more and
more crowded with solutions every day, identifying the next right step
can be difficult. As you manage diverse demands and expectations
of stakeholders, each and every decision is critical. Luckily, Lenovo
can help you navigate the choices.
Intel Inside®. Powerful Solution Outside.
Learn more about our government-ready portfolio at or follow us on Twitter @LenovoGov.
Lenovo builds for quality
first, giving decision-makers
the freedom to invest and
innovate with confidence.
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Robust Flexibility
The full power of the IoT won’t come from off-the-shelf solutions; it will
come from agencies collaborating to create answers that are rightsized for the challenge at hand. Lenovo’s commitment to continuous
innovation across our entire portfolio helps you solve your computing
needs from server to endpoint.
• Robust IoT support architecture powered by Intel® — from dense
HPC and blade server solutions to transformational desktop
and mobile devices
• Corporate support for industry and government efforts to create
open IoT standards
• Strategic partnerships with industry-leading technology providers
End-to-End Dependability
When IoT is at its best, technology becomes transparent, leaving
nothing but results. This makes reliability essential, especially in
healthcare, public safety, and the protection of critical infrastructure.
Lenovo builds for quality first, giving decision-makers the freedom to
invest and innovate with confidence, knowing they’re giving their IoT
solutions the best chance to succeed.
• At the endpoint, rigorous MIL-SPEC and internal testing ensures
devices have always-on reliability
• Inside your data center, Lenovo System x leads the x86
industry in both reliability and customer satisfaction
• All this reliability is backed by a robust warranty and services
portfolio focused on keeping your agency productive 24/7
Nonstop Security
Since the IoT is essentially an information supply chain, managing
the security of that data is critical. The larger the idea, the wider the
network and, eventually, the size of the target. Lenovo understands
the critical nature of the challenge, prioritizing security across our
entire supply chain and product development organization.
• Products designed to rigid government and industry standards,
including NIST and TCG
• Certified, industry-standard components and features
• Carefully built and secured supply chain for both components
and finished goods
Intel Inside®. Powerful Solution Outside.
Learn more about our government-ready portfolio at or follow us on Twitter @LenovoGov.
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Build Your Future from the Ground Up
As the Internet of Things moves from science fiction to serious
business, agencies are looking for opportunities to capitalize.
They know that big efficiency and even bigger insights are available
on the other side of a successful IoT rollout, but it all starts with a
plan and a partner.
As a trusted technology partner to many federal, state, and local
government agencies, Lenovo understands the unique challenges
facing government technologists. Let our experience and expertise
be the difference in your IoT plans, helping you turn a good idea into
meaningful IoT transformation.
Learn more about Lenovo servers and storage
and how they’re evolving to meet the new
demands of today’s connected government.
1. Cisco. (2011). The Internet of Things [Infographic]. Web.
2. Rohling, G. (2014). Facts and Forecasts: Billions of Things, Trillions of Dollars. Web.
3. Romm, T. (2015). Round 1 goes to the lobbyists. Web.
4. Danova, T. (2014, Oct.) The Internet of Everything [Slide Deck]. Web.
5., 6. Bradley, J., Redberger, C., Dixit, A., Gupta, V. (2013). Internet of Everything: A 4.6
Trillion Public-Sector Opportunity [White Paper]. Web.
7. IDC Government Insights. (2015). IDC Government Insights Provides Guidance for Redefining the Citizen Experience [Press Release]. Web.
8., 9. Guerrini, F. (July 3, 2014). How Big Data and The Internet of Things Will Change the Postal Service. Forbes. Retrieved from Web.
10. Ledger, D., McCaffrey, D. (2014). How the Science of Human Behavior Change Offers the Secret to Long-Term Engagement [White Paper]. Web.
11. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. (2014). Making BYOD Work: Balancing Productivity and Security. Web.
12. Based on IEA data from Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2013: IEA Input to the
Clean Energy Ministerial © OECD/IEA 2013, IEA Publishing; modified by Lenovo.
Licence Web.
13. Acquity Group’s 2014 Internet Of Things Study: The Internet of Things: The Future of Consumer Adoption. Web.
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