NSW launches IoT procurement strategy

21 October 2019

The Australian state government of New South Wales has launched its new internet of things (IoT) policy which covers procurement of IoT as it seeks to tighten its embrace of the technology. 

In the policy framework document, the state government says: “The NSW Government is regularly ranked as the most digital-ready government in Australia.

“Effective deployment and use of IoT across NSW Government requires a consistent approach built on a common understanding of the opportunities, risks, obligations and best practice.”

The policy has been designed to demystify IoT for government project managers, encourage innovation with IoT solutions, build understanding and capability across government, and provide practical guidance.

The state government said procurement of IoT solutions could be complicated by the broad application of IoT, the relative immaturity of the IoT service provider market, and the lack of maturity and capability on the buyer side.

A module in the policy provides guidance on how to manage IoT-specific challenges in the procurement process and what to do if the perfect solution does not exist.

It also provides advice on clearly stating the outcome and the boundaries of contracts for IoT service providers; as well as strategies to avoid common risks when procuring IoT solutions, data considerations for contracting (data handling, ownership, quality, privacy and security, storage etc) and key contract terms for IoT solutions.

The government said it had a “growing interest in taking advantage of the efficiency gains and decision-making enhancements presented by IoT”.

“However, it is essential that planning and executing an IoT-enabled project will ensure maximum benefits and minimal risks,” it added.

The document provides guidance to help organisations design and implement IoT solutions, advice on standards and obligations, and tools and templates to help effectively manage IoT-enabled projects. 

Dawn Routledge, executive director in the Office of the Secretary at the NSW Department of Customer Service, described the strategy as a “handbook” which the NSW government could use to help IoT drive better services within the state.

IoT is currently used in government services ranging from trains and hospitals to agriculture. At the local government level smart infrastructure, such as intelligent bins which notify local authorities when they are full and advanced street lighting, are becoming increasingly popular.

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