By Tom O’Keefe
immixGroup, an Arrow company
Government is increasingly looking at better ways to analyze data gathered by the rising number of sensors at or near the edge. This is in contrast to the traditional method of bringing that data back to a large data centers where the majority of compute lives. But questions remain about how the public sector can start using this data and whether they can make informed decisions on the ground. Several industries have already figured this out with the internet of things (IoT).
A panel discussion was held on this very topic at the Government Sales IT Summit, hosted by immixGroup, an Arrow company. Panelists, including Ian Doyle, executive security advisor for IBM’s Security Business Unit, and Ashish Parikh, vice president of IoT platforms at Arrow Electronics, discussed the evolution and transformation of IT at the edge.
Part of the transformation comes from the transition from “dumb” sensors to “smart” ones. A smart sensor doesn’t track merely a single data point as a dumb sensor would but is able to observe multiple variables and respond to changes in its environment. For government purposes, this becomes incredibly useful in securing the border, for example, or on aircraft to suggest when preventative maintenance is necessary before it impacts operations.
Naturally, this involves a lot of different technologies, which means lots of opportunities for technology vendors to sell into the government. Make sure to weave the story you’re telling into the larger narrative of the IoT, of which the intelligent edge is one of the most exciting pieces. Also, keep in mind that much of the intelligent edge thrives in and on the cloud, so make sure your solutions meet the latest cloud security standards for the government.
One of the key points to keep in mind when approaching government to sell these types of solutions is who your audience actually is. I know the typical technology approach is to target the chief information officer and IT shops. But for these and other IoT type plays, your first stop should be with the mission owners. They’re the groups needing to analyze and better interpret the data. Analyzing information at the edge is most beneficial for the boots-on-the-ground, so even though IT might do system implementation, understand that mission budget could be used to procure your solution.
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