Sometimes we wonder why Smart Cities initiatives are very successful in some countries. Still, others failed – either it was not accepted or fully adopted by the people, or it’s stuck on the Blueprint shelves.
In any Smart Cities implementations, we can’t avoid the Internet of Things (IOT) because it’s how we aggregate the data and derive meaningful insights about the cities. Cities that use data as their decision-making process are the ones that will propel forward and lead the rest. They will understand the current issues and how to improve the cities operations and reduce costs.
Benchmarking cities and creating city indicators are the first steps towards a continuous process of becoming an ROI-driven and green-driven city. You can’t reach the state of vanity-driven cities without successfully implementing the latter.
The IOT maturity model shows that you need to move from monitoring, controlling, optimizing, and finally to autonomous. And we can see that many vanity-driven cities have already reached the stage whereby the city’s assets and infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, buildings, parking, transportation, etc., have been partly or wholly monitored and controlled.
The only way you can plan forward is to optimize the city’s resources. We must understand where and how congested the roads are, parking bays’ utilization, electricity consumption, etc. It looks like a perfect plan, right? But then, why can’t we see the growth of smart cities worldwide as fast as we would expect? What stops or delays them?
Other than the necessary funding, I believe mindset change is the biggest stumbling block. Sadly, if we couple with personal agendas, most projects will fail and become white elephants. IOT devices embedded in strategic locations and assets will uncover many things. The data derived from that single asset will tell you whether the investment you have put in place is fully utilized or not—whether the current way of doing things is cost-effective or the source of leakages concerning money or time.
Be careful of what you will uncover from the data – it can be a gold mine that can reduce your operational costs and increase your productivity, or it can be time-bombs that are already waiting to explode.
There will always be people who are scared of technology. They can be the “lazy” employees who believe that IoT can open their weakness when they cannot meet their KPI.
Imagine when IoT can track the whereabouts of their work travel – how fast can they complete their simple job, which could take hours but requires days to complete.
Imagine an unscrupulous businessman that wanted to smuggle things, but IoT can detect the authenticity of the assets (quantity and owner).
But for companies that want to take advantage of the benefits of IoT will be able to see how they can improve their operations by monitoring the movement of every essential asset.
About the Author
Dr. Mazlan Abbas is an IOT Evangelist, Thought Leader, and CEO of FAVORIOT. He is ranked No. 20th Thought Leader in IOT by 2014 Onalytics Report – “The Internet of Things – Top 100 Thought Leaders”, ranked Top 10 in IoT Top 100 Influencers by Postscapes 2016/2017, ranked Top 100 in Smart Cities Top Experts by Agilience Authority Index May 2016. You can reach him on LinkedIn or Twitter. Check all his presentation slides HERE.