In a recent CIO article, we shared that cities all over the world are currently consumed with how to be ‘smart.’ A flood of new inhabitants in urban areas across the globe is resulting in municipalities that need technology which can seamlessly engage citizens and manage exponential growth.
City governments are asking themselves how best to manage the influx of people, and how to address the challenges that come from added constraints on infrastructure and resources. The problems are ubiquitous: disparate departments, limited budgets and infrastructures that can’t compete with today’s digital demands.
How then can cities support massive populations? The answer is true digital transformation, driven by administrators who think like innovators. City governments must be capable of developing comprehensive strategy that grows and adapts with the population and most effectively uses resources at hand.
Here are three things smart cities need to focus on:
- Smart cities should provide robust WiFi connectivity that enables devices to communicate, gather data and run in real time, allowing people to communicate wherever they are – be it home or about the town.
- Connectivity includes intelligent networking not only of devices, but of systems and procedures. Smart cities need to digitally and strategically integrate at every level so connectivity becomes seamless and day-to-day management is more effective.
- Smart cities cannot afford to fall behind in communication – much of the way government will operate and how it will support its citizens must be based on a foundation of effective communication. Smart cities need to actually build out and design strategic maps to promote communication.
- Governments who undergo digital transformation face real risks, the largest of which is security, but also accessibility, reliability and standardization. These risks necessitate vital communications across divisions, employees and even to citizens. A well developed strategic plan helps all parties better understand and communicate objectives and mitigates risks.
- Smart Cities must design a strategic plan for communication, sharing and execution. This cannot rely solely on the shoulders of the executive team, managers and employees must engage as they are the ones in the day-to-day trenches.
- Successful strategy management is more than just an excel spreadsheet, and successful execution is more than just meeting KPIs. In order to effectively maneuver a smart city landscape, it is vital to know the end goals, and plan accordingly.
When city administrators design a strategy that is both agile and adaptable, that emphasizes the benefits of effective communication and efficient connectivity, they will experience greater success in their digital transformation and become truly “smart.”