Many cities today have ambitions of becoming the smart cities of tomorrow. But to achieve this, they need to overcome the challenges associated with mapping out a complex strategy that involves public and private participants, direct and indirect stakeholders, integrators, network and managed service providers, product vendors and IT infrastructure providers.
At the outset, smart cities must have the foundation of a fundamental, standards-based IT infrastructure that satisfies and supports a broad array of needs and can adjust to advances in technology, such as Internet of Things sensors, measurement and analytics tools and solutions powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Smart city planning is a balancing act that involves citizens, public organizations, state and local government and private enterprises. Once this balance is achieved, it creates huge opportunities for business, sustainability, disaster prevention, public safety and quality of life improvements.
The promise of smart cities — just like the process of building one — is difficult to define, as there are so many working parts and components to consider. These include smart buildings, smart governance, smart healthcare, smart transportation, smart security, smart energy, smart commerce and smart infrastructure. However, there are challenges that can be addressed today through a combination of technological innovation and collaboration between public organizations and private enterprises.
Smart technologies act as the connective tissue that binds all the individual element of a safe and smart spaces deployments. Whether it’s home, office, mobile, consumer, automobile, security, energy, and whether it’s citizen- or business-facing, this connective tissue requires a single, access/appliance/workload agnostic infrastructure platform to deliver the real-time services such as traffic or safety and security monitoring, healthcare assistance or smart energy distribution that smart cities aspire to deliver. This nexus of smart technologies creates a kind of networked fabric that all interacts with each other and the world around simultaneously. Smart technologies, along with IoT, 5G networks and intelligent infrastructure platforms touch everything from vertical-specific applications to more horizontal IT solutions.