Universal: Page 4 of 26

Mon, 2015-10-26 13:59 -- Jon DeKeles
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Reducing duplication of effort. When smart city efforts are confined to departmental silos, functions are needlessly repeated. This unnecessary duplication may range from market research to community outreach to technical design to security planning to staff training to procurement processes to designing user interfaces and much more. Agreeing in advance on universal principles takes care of these things once, for use in all departments.

Reducing costs through infrastructure sharing. Some early smart city efforts have overlooked the potential to share costs. Here are just a few of the elements that can often be purchased or designed just once and reused many times: geographical information systems (GIS); communications networks; cybersecurity designs and implementations; database management systems; enterprise service buses; workforce and field crew management architecture, and operations centers. Additionally, in some cases costs can be reduced by partnering with private sector providers (operators) who have already deployed networks and services.

Reducing costs by re-using software modules. By realizing the targets in this Guide, cities can construct their applications in a way that creates a collaborative and secure environment, makes it easy to share code modules between different applications, minimizing expensive programming.

Increasing economies of scale. By agreeing on universal standards and specifications, cities can often lower their purchasing costs while increasing interoperability. Otherwise, each city department makes its own small, slightly different order with diminished bargaining power.

Embedding best practices. By way of example, consider something as crucial as cybersecurity. Now suppose that every department is responsible on its own for researching, planning and implementing that security. It’s not hard to recognize that some departments will not have the skills and resources to do the best possible job. By contrast, if the city adopts a universal security framework, it can be assured that the individual departmental implementations will be state-of-the-art.

Enabling better financial forecasting. Financial forecasting is an important discipline and it can be greatly enhanced with the help of the data flowing from smart cities. Combining and correlating growth projections, depreciation and historic operating patterns can improve cities’ 5-, 10- and 20-year plans. And by monitoring key performance indicators, cities can measure their progress and their return on investment.

Squeezing the maximum value from city assets. Electronically monitoring the actual condition of assets at every moment helps predict when they will need maintenance in time to prevent breakdowns. With device management and asset optimization, cities will save money while still ensuring the reliability of their technology deployments.

Using computer simulations to plan with great precision. Thanks to computer modeling and simulations, cities can test assumptions, try different scenarios and make mistakes in the simulations instead of costly mistakes in real life. Many experts predict that smart city technologies will change the very nature of planning – from a once-in-a-decade activity based on estimates to an ongoing process based upon real-time data.