It is no secret that technology often has the ability to transform the ways in which markets operate. For construction, technology tools have played a major role in helping builders, contractors, owners, and other agencies streamline processes and reduce costs. But can the technology help create smarter cities?

Research studies seem to indicate government can benefit from solutions catering to the public sector, namely M2M technology. The reports also suggest similar technologies are also being put in place to create smart, more connected cities.

A report from IDC Government Insights,, Framingham, Mass., looks into the potential of M2M solutions, which it refers to as the Internet of Things. While it sees a large opportunity, IDC says the applications for M2M in the public sector are still limited, due to the somewhat early stage of technology applications in this area and the management approach to using them.

Right now, IDC says most applications focus on transport, security, and environmental monitoring, though in the public sector M2M can also benefit defense and health. The report recommends public sector executives think about the types of data an M2M application will generate, including the volume, variety, velocity, and value of that data. Other things to consider include any legal aspects, financial sustainability, and the complexity of governance.

M2M is also making strides when it comes to the smart city. Harris Interactive conducted a study on behalf of SAP,, Waldorf, Germany, which found nearly 30% of IT decisionmakers believe smart cities would be the most beneficial outcome of M2M technologies.

The category of smart cities describes an intelligent city that could collect and analyze large amounts of data, most of which would be collected from a network of connected devices.

IT decisionmakers saw benefits in other areas as well. SAP says overall, respondents expect M2M to provide both businesses and workers with greater insight, efficiency, productivity, and collaboration. Creating more mobility for employees was listed as a benefit of the greater implementation of M2M in the workplace.

For instance, the BYOD (bring your own device) movement has caught on around the world. The study shows China is the current leader in using BYOD, with 56% of IT decisionmakers reporting their company embraces the practice and provides productivity apps for mobile platforms.

Whether it’s being used for a government project or a smarter city, M2M is on the move around the globe. New applications will lead to even more expansion in these areas as managers become more accustomed to the benefits M2M can produce.