As ITIF's Center for Data Innovation has written previously, because the Internet of Things—physical objects embedded with sensors or actuators and connected to a network, which can include everything from home appliances to automated factories to connected cars—offers so many important economic and social benefits, countries should develop national strategies to promote its adoption and use. Among other benefits, creating a national strategy would help coordinate existing initiatives and allow government agencies to better plan future projects. One way to accelerate development and adoption of the Internet of Things is for the U.S. federal government to be an early adopter. However, in addition to being an early adopter, the U.S. government has a significant opportunity to support private-sector efforts at building the Internet of Things through other activities, including programs to provide technical resources; strengthen cybersecurity; develop industry-friendly regulations; ensure spectrum availability; support research, development, and demonstration; and coordinate stakeholders. Many of these programs are underway, although they often lack the coordination and scale necessary to support the Internet of Things as completely as possible. The purpose of this report is to shine a light on these activities, so policymakers have a better understanding of what is being done today and where gaps exist.
Everything the U.S. Government Is Doing to Help the Private Sector Build the Internet of Things
While the U.S. federal government has undertaken an array of important activities to support the development of the Internet of Things in the private sector, these efforts are mostly uncoordinated and the government lacks a strategic vision.