New blueprints have been produced to help Scottish local authorities realise the benefits of internet of things (IoT) technologies.

Use cases in social housing, winter weather roads mitigation, air quality in schools, waste management and water monitoring have all been flagged in new council IoT guides.

The information was put together by CENSIS – the innovation centre for IoT – in collaboration with the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government.

It is hoped the guide will help inspire local authorities to consider IoT adoption to boost efficiencies and enhance public services.

Such implementations have included road temperature monitoring in East Renfrewshire, to help council planners deploy gritting lorries during cold snaps, and smart waste management.

Other councils are working with social housing providers to remotely environmental monitor concerns such as damp and energy usage. In the Highlands, a manual council inspection regime was replaced by sensors monitoring the water quality in leisure centre pools, testing for bacteria such as legionella.

Five blueprints are initially to be made available to councils via Sharepoint to highlight the opportunities and potential challenges they may face when introducing new connected technologies.

Colin Birchenall, chief technology officer at the Digital Office, said: “Digital transformation has wide-ranging benefits for local authorities and the people who use their services, from improving processes and saving time to ultimately improving aspects of residents’ lives such as health, wellbeing and the environment. 

“We want to encourage councils which are already using this kind of technology to share their experiences and help others do the same. This is the start of a library of blueprints that provide practical advice to help councils to accelerate and scale up IoT technologies to improve outcomes and deliver efficiencies across the sector.”

Stephen Milne, director of strategic projects at CENSIS, said: “Across the public sector there are pockets of really exciting and impactful technology adoption and there is a clear opportunity to communicate this with the rest of Scotland. There is already a general awareness of IoT, but we now need to work together to take ideas one step further – beyond pilot schemes – and roll them out at scale. 

“While we’re aiming to illustrate the benefits and business case for using IoT across the public sector, wider adoption may also unlock new markets for some of the high-growth tech companies we work with. These businesses can provide the technology councils will need to make plans a reality, using networks and equipment developed and made in Scotland.”

East Renfrewshire Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Perth and Kinross Council and The Highland Council have been involved in various projects informing the how-to guides and are already bringing IoT benefits to residents – supported by CENSIS and The Digital Office.