The number of smart digital innovations being introduced in cities has increased over the last ten years. Many of the innovations have been introduced as one-off projects as technology develops, awareness grows, and city needs and budgets permit. These IoT innovations are varied, including intelligent traffic control, smart parking, smart lighting, remote infrastructure monitoring, waste management, smart sensors, and even shark monitoring. The opportunities grow by the day.
Each of these initiatives is a huge step in the right direction and can help improve city efficiencies and sustainability, but in isolation, the benefits are often diminished. Many IoT initiatives involve proprietary systems, which rely on different frameworks, and use different data architectures or sensor hardware that speak different “languages.” Managing one of these projects in isolation is fine, but as the number grows, the management of these smart systems can quickly become an IT nightmare.
There are significant benefits and efficiencies to be gained by integrating disparate IoT systems and data. Let’s take a look at some of the possible improvements.
Many cities run small pilot projects to test an innovation. While often successful, many still struggle to scale the innovation and roll it out. This can often be attributed to issues with system compatibility, which may require customization, retrofitting, and sometimes rebuilding, all of which add time and can blow out a project’s costs.
When planning a smart city innovation there are three things to focus on to ensure you avoid IoT silos:
The linking of legacy IT systems, IoT sensors, and data architectures needs to be at the forefront when considering future solutions. When looking for a solution, cities should prioritize innovations that use open standards and are committed to interoperability.
Many IoT projects are still considered technology projects rather than operational transformation projects. An operational transformation project can benefit a wide range of stakeholders, even if the project wasn’t designed for them. As innovation is used and embraced by a greater number of stakeholders, the inherent value will be more easily recognized, which will help embed and scale the solution.
The beauty of digital innovation and IoT is the vast amounts of data that can be produced. Ensure you have a plan for how you are going to store and access the data. Even if you are not using the data immediately for advanced analytics or artificial intelligence, you very soon may choose to do so. The more data available the better, so the integration of all available data, even from different systems, will prove to be invaluable. An ideal period for artificial intelligence is two years of historical data, so we recommend you start storing your data from day one.
Finally, teams and personnel come and go, but an interconnected, interoperable smart system is built to last. Future city and council employees will one day be grateful for the vast amounts of data stored, and city services and resources can continue to be optimized and improved to increase efficiency and effectiveness. This is the beauty of integrated IoT for smart cities.
It is critical that healthcare organizations tighten up the security of medical devices by securing…
Energy harvesting offers significant potential in the healthcare field to help both patients and practitioners…
Augmented reality apps and glasses can streamline navigation, item picking, barcode reading, and synchronization in…