Smart city technologies are on the rise, according to a report by Frost and Sullivan there will be around 40 smart cities globally by 2025. These truly smart cities will be powered by eight enabling features, including Smart Economy, Smart Buildings, Smart Mobility, Smart Energy, Smart Information Communication and Technology, Smart Planning, Smart Citizen and Smart Governance. But with where we are today, the basic elements of a safe/smart city are stitched together from various stakeholders, vendors and technologies, which creates a fragmented ecosystem. As the initiative scales, this environment will not be able to meet its demands, support new technologies or effectively align with planned municipal services or construction efforts.
If you consider the physical infrastructure of a popular city — beautiful parks, well-designed public spaces, residential neighborhoods, museums and a central financial district — its value to citizens is not fully realized without proper roads and public transportation systems. And as that city grows, it will struggle under the load of traffic and not be able to meet the needs of its citizens.
The reality of most cities capable of launching large-scale smart city initiatives is that their physical infrastructure is not suited to support them without significant changes to the existing components, which not only drives up costs but also disrupts the lives of residents.
In this sense, IT infrastructure is equally important — along with a common network delivered through adherence to industry-proven open standards — for a smart city initiative to support the demands of multiple solutions from technology and application providers, systems integrators and infrastructure service providers and operators.
A smart city’s infrastructure platform must enable seamless integration of sensors, applications and services to not only improve returns on capital investments over time, but also provide key stakeholders with a strong foundation for their digital transformation journey. It must also support diverse workloads, deliver security across all devices and endpoints, and maintain that security as organizations share data in compliance with policy and regulatory requirements, and finally it must include artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to simplify management at massive scale through automation.