New research from Vodafone UK has found that local councils are missing potential savings of over £400 million and the opportunity to improve the services they offer to citizens by not capitalising on the benefits offered by Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technologies.
The study found that although the vast majority of urban councillors are positive about investment in technology, 67% are not familiar with M2M. This gap in understanding would explain why M2M is yet to be widely used to improve public services such as street lighting, refuse collection, urban traffic and transport management, whilst at the same time saving the tax payer millions.
Savings would be welcomed by 77% citizens who said they would fully support their council’s decision to invest more in new technology to drive improved public services.
Matt Key, Director of M2M sales and commercial at Vodafone said: “While the importance of technology seems to be widely appreciated by local councillors and residents in urban areas, the lack of awareness of the massive benefits to be gained from M2M and the Internet of Things means that urban councils are missing out on opportunities to deliver better, smarter and more cost effective services in the areas which matter to their local communities.
“Among the small amount of councillors who are familiar with M2M, almost all of them (83%) feel the technology will be important in delivering better services and improved value to the community. If we can help more councillors understand the possible savings and the benefits, then we have a real opportunity to help local councils improve the services for their communities, as well as free up more budget to be reinvested in front line services.”