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Capita: Using smart technology to boost quality of life

Guest blog by Ben Walker, Technology Specialist, Capita Public Service. As part of the Digital Transformation in the Public Sector Week. #techUKDigitalPS

Rapid technological changes, automation and artificial intelligence are offering us opportunities to not only improve our quality of life, but also our purpose. These approaches provide a wealth of timely data and insights to help us become more responsive to change and more responsible in the way we look after our planet and people. 

The combined effects of climate change and the rising costs of living are intensifying people’s struggles and quality of life. We have more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than ever before in human history, and over 3 million households in the UK are experiencing fuel poverty. We can and must do better. 

Confronting these challenges requires a fresh new approach – one that places human welfare on an equal footing with profits. By merging the right people, processes and technology, we can create better outcomes for citizens, from reducing fuel poverty, making our roads and infrastructure safer and more efficient, tackling decarbonisation to supporting the vulnerable in our society.

We’re living in an era of innovation, where we can harness the potential of smart cities, cars and wearable devices through the Internet of Things (IoT) – which creates measurable value for public and private organisations and transforms the way humans and devices connect and interact through a single robust network. 

Enhancing air quality with IoT 

So, how can IoT address some of the most critical challenges in our towns and cities today? 

Let’s take air pollution and the quality of our roads as an example. Roads are one of the most visible assets that councils are responsible for; the value of the road network is in the billions of pounds, yet there’s only a finite amount of funding to fix them. 

IoT has the potential to reduce emissions from vehicles through smart traffic management. It can collect data from various sources such as traffic cameras, a vehicle’s GPS or other sensors and use it to analyse and understand traffic patterns. Imagine, for example, if you’re a local authority logging into an insights tool for your borough, seeing a traffic jam on a busy junction and being able to access CCTV footage in real-time. This data can then link to a smart traffic light system and automatically help to speed up the flow of traffic, reduce delays and improve air quality — all through one single network. 

Greener driving behaviours

Emissions can also be reduced by selecting where your air quality sensors are placed. These sensors can link to street signage and prompt drivers to turn off their engines by showing their impact on the air quality. Sensors could also be placed at prime targets such as busy junctions, level crossings and even outside schools, where many parents leave their engines running when waiting to collect their children.

Safer roads

Seasonally, data can also be gathered from local weather stations, road surface temperature monitors, and gully sensors. This information can help councils to be more proactive in gritting local roads in the winter months or even clearing gullies that are susceptible to flooding. By using smarter technology, local authorities can take preventative action to transform how our towns and cities operate. 

The integration of IoT provides a comprehensive understanding of people’s behaviours to enable immediate action; ultimately, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Often, you just need to step back, look at things a bit differently and re-evaluate how effective your current approaches are in solving people’s real-life problems. Changing your relationship with technology not only drives responsible change, but it also adds significant value to the quality of people’s lives, which is ultimately the end goal. 

To find out how we can help you to integrate IoT into your organisation, towns or cities, contact [email protected]

To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.

You can also follow the campaign on techUK's Twitter and LinkedIn - #techUKDigitalPS.

ben walker, capita.jpeg

Ben Walker, Technologist Specialist, Capita Public Service leads a team of Sales Specialists focused on delivering growth through selling our Digital Connectivity portfolio into Public Sector organisations. Ben is very passionate about technology, innovation and finding new ways of thinking. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn, to learn more.

At Capita, they look to utilise people, process and technology to create better outcomes for their business or community. To learn more about Capita, please visit their LinkedIn and Twitter.

On Tuesday 5 April, techUK was delighted to host the Cabinet Office and industry representatives for the launch event for the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing Playbook which was published on 28 March 2022. The DDaT Sourcing Playbook sets out guidance – in one place – as to how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered in central government departments, arms-length bodies and the wider public sector. Through the application of what is commercial best practice, the Playbook addresses 11 key policies and six cross-cutting priorities that will ensure government gets things right from the start when it comes to procurement.

You can watch the recording of the launch event in full here:

DDaT Playbook Launch Event

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techUK talks with… Shaheen Sayed, CEO - UK, Ireland & Africa, Accenture

techUK talks with...  Shaheen Sayed, Accenture.gif

For the fourth instalment of our popular techUK CEO Talks, we are delighted to be joined by Shaheen Sayed from Accenture to discuss her journey to CEO of one of the UK's largest businesses, and how technology can build a better future for the UK’s economy, people, society, and the planet.