Eight in 10 Scottish citizens believe their local councils should embrace a wider range of digital technologies, a poll has revealed.
The research, commissioned by Capita on behalf of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN), explores the attitudes of citizens in Scotland to increased digitisation and to the internet of things (IoT).
It found that 69% of Scottish residents said that digital access to local government services influences where they choose to live.
SWAN’s research discovered that the prospect of IoT and the smart city is welcomed by the majority of residents. Over 80% of those polled said they believed that IoT could enhance the delivery of services.
Support for digitisation was highest among 18 to 34 year-olds. Ninety-two per cent said they believed IoT will enhance delivery of local council services.
Scottish citizens said they were most excited about easier access to public services in Smart Cities, with 56% citing this as the biggest benefit.
Respondents also highlighted safety benefits (55%) and improvements to public transport (51%) as advantages of smart cities.
The survey found that respondents in the Highlands were less certain about the impact of smart cities or the use of IoT.
Over 20% thought IoT would not enhance the delivery of local services and 18% said they cannot see any benefit of living in a smart city.
‘It’s clear that technology can enhance local government operations in many ways, such as bringing high-speed internet to libraries or ensuring targets to reduce energy waste in public places can be measured,’ said Jack Anderson, head of digital & innovation for SWAN at Capita.
‘What is even more positive is that the Scottish public is so willing to embrace new innovations from their councils. When implemented effectively, IoT can make Scotland’s communities great places to live, as well as optimising council spending.’