September 17th, 2015. By Denise E. Zheng, William A. Carter for CSIS.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way organizations communicate, collaborate, and coordinate everyday business and industrial processes. Adoption of IoT technologies has proven beneficial to organizations that manage large numbers of assets and coordinate complex and distributed processes. Decades ago, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) pioneered the sensor, computer networking, and communications technology that serve as the foundation of IoT, but today the U.S. military is struggling to equip its workforce with the basic functions provided by commercial smartphones. DoD continues to drive innovation in advanced sensors and control systems, but it is falling behind in deployment of IoT technologies that have the potential to deliver new capabilities and cost savings. Based on in-depth research and interviews with 29 government and industry executives and subject matter experts, this report suggests ways in which the U.S. military could better leverage IoT technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness.