A new study, conducted by and released by IT company Cisco today, claims that the South African government could create somewhere in the region of R150 billion for the country’s public sector by embracing what the company calls the Internet of Everything (IoE), an interconnected system that encompasses the connected technologies that we have today as well as the Internet of Things and an increased emphasis on the cloud.
This cash generation can be achieved by, according to Cisco, “…saving money, improving employee productivity, generating new revenue (without raising taxes) and enhancing citizen benefits.”
The study identifies two areas where South Africa’s government could make use of the Internet of Everything to produce gains for the country: on a city or citizen level. Both options have several methods for delivery but Cisco identifies some of the top items for a city level IoE rollout as: introducing a ‘smart grid’, improving cyber security, enhancing travel and managing chronic diseases in SA.
On a citizen level, South Africa’s government could use the Internet of Everything to improve payment methods, combat counterfeit drugs and bring smart lighting to the country. A little bit of thought shows how each item could be used to save or generate cash for the country as a whole.
David Mphelo, Public Sector Business Executive Director for Cisco South Africa, said in a statement “With more than two thirds of South Africans living in urban centres and more migrating into these areas daily, our cities must become more flexible and responsive to citizen needs, while making the most of public resources. The Internet of Everything is transforming how cities deliver services and how citizens interact with government.”
“Our public-sector leaders in South Africa are also under tremendous pressure to bridge the gap between rising citizen expectations and shrinking resources and they should act now to identify major IoE opportunities and begin by re-imagining what is possible in an IoE world.”
The Cisco study estimates that implementing the city level of IoE could generate R131 billion for South Africa over the coming decade, while the citizen level would be responsible for a further R21 billion over the same period. This does all assume that South Africa’s government is able to sort out our internet infrastructure to the point where all of the above will work as planned, however.