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The Internet of Things (IoT): The Art of the Possible

WWT IoT engagement manager Jamie Milne and Bus Central were featured in the September issue of School Planning & Management.

Posted by School Planning and Management on September 1, 2017:

Eighty-five percent of 300 top K-12 decisionmakers, IT professionals and administrators say the Internet of Things (IoT) will make schools safer, 81 percent say it will improve student engagement and 65 percent say it will save schools/districts significant money. This is according to a survey released in June by Vernon Hills, Illinois-based CDW-G, a leading multi-brand technology solutions provider.

With a goal of taking a closer look at schools’ and districts’ progress around IoT adoption and their goals for IoT transformation, the survey results yielded quite a lot of information. For example, of the top three tools and applications to date, 48 percent are smart/connected security cameras, 37 percent are smart lighting systems and 35 percent smart HVAC systems and/or smart thermostats.

And, of those using IoT, the top three benefits cited to date are improved school safety/security (55 percent), improved energy efficiency (38 percent) and improved student engagement (36 percent).

The three biggest concerns regarding the implementation of IoT are cost/budget (58 percent), privacy issues (33 percent) and security issues (30 percent). In addition, 81 percent of respondents also indicate that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. To see the complete Safety and Savings: IoT Opportunities in K-12 infographic, visit www.cdwnewsroom.com/safety-and-savings.

Because of cost, security challenges and the desire to invest in something that has a proven return on investment by delivering intended outcomes, experts indicate that schools will be late adopters. The good thing about this is that the kinks will be worked out in the meantime. Also, the construction process will change toward integrated project delivery so that the entire team is discussing IoT priorities at the beginning of a project. When they’re ready to get on board, administrators will know from the beginning what they’re purchasing, how it works, how it benefits them, how secure it is and how scalable it is.

What will drive adoption is gained efficiencies and energy savings. “People are looking into whether the investments they make are generating the right kinds of metrics: safety, smoother processes, a better experience for the end users,” says Jamie Milne, IoT Engagement Manager for World Wide Technology. “Having a clear definition of those goals is really important, and not to be overlooked in the excitement about implementing the newest, latest and greatest.”

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