Critical Read

Pentagon leads in IoT spending

Internet of Things_man with globe and dollars

What: "The Internet of Things: Sensors and Data Collectors," a report from Govini on a piece of the burgeoning federal IoT market.

Why: The Defense Department is currently driving the growth in federal IoT sensor purchasing, but contractors, academics and other agencies could collaborate to find ways to turn military sensors to civilian purposes.

Wireless devices, cloud storage and software are important elements of the growing IoT network, but sensors have started taking a bigger chunk of agencies' IoT attention. From fiscal 2011 to 2015, sensors rocketed from less than 10 percent of federal IoT spending ($578 million) to 18 percent ($1.6 billion), the report states.

Defense agencies drove 88 percent of IoT sensor spending from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2015. Much of the growth has come from the Air Force's use of sensors on munitions and the Army's expansion of warfighter-supporting data collection systems.

Well-established contractors, including Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, dominate the market.

But Govini's report says deploying more civilian sensors will be a major opportunity for agencies, contractors and academics in the coming years. The General Services Administration has been pioneering sensor-laden smart buildings, and Govini's report notes that NASA and the Department of Homeland Security are expanding their own sensor procurements.

Verbatim: "As the lynchpin of IoT, sensor development will determine its future as pioneering DOD technology will be adopted for civilian use.... Continued R&D is critical to adapt defense technology to penetrate civilian agencies, creating opportunity for sensor applications to evolve to support prominent missions like health IT" at the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services.

Click here to read the full report.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a former FCW staff writer.

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