Connecting state and local government leaders
It involves cloud computing and subscription software, according to a new white paper.
Cities of any size can use cloud computing and subscription software to develop the advanced analytics and open data initiatives needed to become a smart city, according to a new Frost & Sullivan white paper.
Local governments amass a flood of data daily across departments, programs and services from everything from video cameras to mobile apps—a treasure trove of information that can “fundamentally change the way services are delivered,” writes Brian Cotton, a vice president for the growth consulting firm.
But that data can be hard to tap into with urbanization and aging infrastructure increasing costs for some cities with limited budgets and insufficient staffs.
“Many forward-looking organizations seeking to implement their smart city vision are now considering cloud computing as a way to quickly obtain powerful analytic capabilities without committing to large capital expenditures,” Cotton writes. “Rather than investing in city-owned and operated analytic tools, another option is to consider analytics offered as a service.”
Cotton runs through the main types of analytics smart cities use: geospatial, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive. He also recommends a “framework approach” using any combination of three methods to get the most value from analytics.
According to an unpublished Frost & Sullivan survey, 33 percent of government IT managers cited “data storage growth” as their top challenge given the system space requirements of analytics and open data.
While local government has been slow to adopt cloud computing on the whole, the industry’s focus on improved security and compliance has seen 37 percent of regional and local governments move to the cloud with 57 percent expected by 2016, according to a Frost & Sullivan report.
Any city can quickly and cost-effectively evolve into a smart city, Cotton writes:
Mayors and department heads will also find strategic benefits from a cloud-based implementation of smart city services. Analytic and collaboration capabilities, and the smart city services that rely on them, can be rolled out quickly and scaled up as citizens increase their usage of the services. Moreover, cloud supports high levels of service resilience, so critical smart city services are always available, no matter the time or location in which they are needed. Finally, municipal [chief information officers] can optimize costs because the entire environment can be managed from a single console, simplifying their administrative workload and maximizing infrastructure flexibility
Given citizen demand for faster government with more services, cloud stalwarts must realize the value of data-driven decisionmaking.
The flexibility municipal CIOs and IT managers gain, Cotton writes, means “the freedom to support the mayor’s policy goals and departmental needs in a variety of ways.”