The Smart City Process Wheel
By Cladian Andugula
Smart City initiatives have people at the centre of the solution, and technology as an enabler to deliver on the cities and communities’ vision and goals. Using a people centric approach with cutting-edge technology; councils, government agencies, institutions, industry experts and organisations can enhance experiences through sustainable solutions across multiple sectors.
According to United Smart Cities (USC) program, the key objectives to a smart city is as follows:
- Decrease vulnerability of cities to urban migration, demographic changes, environmental degradation and climate change
- Reduce carbon footprint of cities
- Enhance the quality of life for inhabitants
- Improve the environmental quality of the cities
- Establish public-private partnerships (PPPs).
The first stage then would be to build the foundation for your smart initiative, so the outcome and the benefits you have planned to deliver are clearly defined.
Collaborate with your stakeholders to understand their priorities, needs and wants for the short and long term. It is important to empathise on the outcomes and use cases. Invite problem statements from stakeholders so your Smart City initiatives can be truly people centred, delivering a meaningful experience.
Be open to recommendations and learnings from other Smart City initiatives locally and globally, industry benchmarks and frameworks. People first, and technology second means partnering with a trusted advisor with an evolving technology ecosystem, abreast of industry advancements, trends and upcoming technologies in Smart Cities globally is a must, but more importantly is the alignment and passion for the outcome you are trying to deliver for your stakeholders.
An important piece to the puzzle
Once you understand your stakeholders, refine and finalise your unique use cases. A technology and network agnostic approach will enable the initiative to deliver best in class solutions for the outcomes you are motivated to deliver for your stakeholders. Build a roadmap on how you will meet your goals in the short and long term making the whole process transparent. Applying industry best practice, the solution design should be robust, identifying any constraints so risk can be mitigated early in the process.
Seek and you shall find
Partnership, collaboration and challenging the status-quo should be the driving values of any smart initiative. Promote the entire smart initiative journey to be transparent, which means feedback including criticism and challenge should always be welcomed. This enables the solution to be iterated, delivering refinements, so you can deliver value fast and early to gain buy in for future delivered value. Through collaboration, testing the value of the solutions against the identified outcomes and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) means the journey is clear and consistent. Engagement with the community further promotes the value of the solution you are delivering and allows for an effective narrative to bring stakeholders on a journey. The second stage will apply the insights, research, analysis, solution design and feedback to seamlessly install and commission the smart initiative.
Pedal to the metal!
Leverage a step by step methodological approach to implementation. Be prepared upfront of any unknown risks and delays so they can be mitigated. Be open to learnings from past commissions so best practice is adopted while integrating your smart initiative. Embedding the initiative is an important element, so you are well prepared to take over the solution. This means helping your teams to learn about the solution and it’s potential.
Yin and Yang
Integrate your smart initiative with your existing processes and business procedures. Existing assets like your server may require integration to support the smart initiative. There will be a combination of new and old assets the solution will integrate with and this process should be given the right level of focus, so the entire process is seamless and transparent.
Walk the talk
You need the right support to respond to any questions you may have on your smart initiative. Issues may pop up during the pilot or after a full-scale implementation, you will require certainty that there is support for a seamless operating smart solution. Having a partner who prides themselves on the support and maintenance they can provide will be very important for the success in the operational stages of your Smart City initiative.
Build for the future
Having a Smart initiative which is in the now and able to be updated for the future will be important to gain current and future value on your investment. You will need your partner to periodically check on your devices and network connectivity to enable a seamless operation and experience for your stakeholders. Recommending additional elements to enhance the value your Smart City initiative is delivering, will also be a differentiator in delivering the value for your stakeholders now and into the future.
Written by Cladian Andugula
Solutions Architect SCS