Government Officials Say Technology Adoption Should be at Local Levels
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 | Comments

New research shows that more than 50 percent of government respondents say that public technology adoption should be stimulated, managed and aggregated at the local or city level. ABI Research conducted the business-to-business (B2B) technology survey of 455 U.S.-based companies that span nine verticals.

ABI Research said the survey represents a strong endorsement for smart city deployments. Federal government agency respondents also share this opinion.

Ninety percent respondents deem legislation for smart cities necessary, followed by public-safety technologies (62 percent) and communications networks (50 percent). Governments' role in funding public technology deployments is mainly seen as limited, usually through seed funding and/or funding coordination.

"Respondents from state level agencies strongly believe public technology deployments should be managed at the state level," said Dominique Bonte, managing director and vice president at ABI Research. "While there seems to be strong agreement for smart city deployments at both a local and federal government level, tension between the state and federal level can be gleaned from the survey. For example, we readily observe this friction within autonomous vehicle and emissions legislation efforts in the U.S."

Lack of funding and/or lack of skills are the top two adoption inhibitors, cited by 52 percent of the respondents. Following this is lack of awareness (22 percent) and unclear return on investment (ROI) (18 percent). A lack of real or perceived value in terms of hard cost savings versus soft citizen benefits also plays a role.

Smart infrastructure and e-government are top technology priorities, followed by smart mobility, smart grid and smart transportation. Forty percent of respondents select "developing feasibility studies” as the main function of public-private partnerships; joint funding and design/deployment of pilots come in as second and third functions.

Governments see a crucial role for telco operators as "ecosystem enablers," beyond just providing connectivity services. This means that they play a role in bringing vendors and partners together around partners and services offered to governments. Respondents mainly link technology benefits to workforce collaboration, process efficiency and operational costs. Respondents further acknowledge impact on workforce mobility and customer experience; they largely ignore transformational benefits of technology like workforce automation, new sharing economy and service business models.

A general image emerges from the survey that shows governments' limited role in funding and managing public technology deployments with public-private partnerships not considered fundamental, which contrasts strongly with prevailing attitudes in both Europe and Asia.

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