A survey conducted by Oracle and urban research consultancy ESI ThoughtLab was recently released highlighting the importance of cloud infrastructure in emerging Smart Cities.
The report — titled “Building a Hyperconnected City” — surveyed 100 cities across the world, and was released at this year’s edition of the Smart Cities Expo World Congress.
It projects that by 2020 there will be over 30 billion connected devices generating data globally, and argues that for connected cities to truly become ‘smart’, they will need improved infrastructure for the extraction, integration, and analysis of the massive amounts of data they collect.
“The public sector, particularly at local level, is dealing with seismic technological, demographic and environmental shifts. Data is the rocket fuel for this transformation, and progressive cities are turning to cloud, data platforms, mobile applications and IoT as a way to scale and prepare for the future,” said Susan O’Connor, global director for Smart Cities, Oracle. “In contrast, not taking advantage of emerging technologies such as AI, Blockchain or virtual and augmented reality comes at a cost. Cities of the future need strategic, long-term investments in cloud data architecture, along with the right expertise to guide them through.”
The survey highlights the challenges city leaders face in managing the growth of smart technologies and finding the right tools to usher their cities into the connected future.
The use of biometrics, artificial intelligence and blockchain is a growing trend in transportation, payments systems, and both physical and digital security. City leaders need to be able to choose the right technologies and platforms to use these tools to their potential in urban environments.
While cybersecurity ranked high in importance among the city leaders surveyed — half said they did not feel adequately prepared for cyberattacks — citizen engagement and satisfaction has risen in importance as well, with a third of the cities that participated in the survey having appointed someone to the post of Chief Citizen Experience Officer.
The Oracle Smart City platform is one tool that city innovators use to harness and process the data collected from connected technologies.
“As a data driven organization, we integrate, manage and use data to inform how we improve services for our constituents,” said Hamant Bharadia, assistant director of finance at the London Borough of Lambeth. “Oracle Cloud Applications for financial planning and payroll are an integral part of our digital strategy, setting us up for a modern way of working and engaging with our communities. They are an essential enabler for us to support innovation, improve public safety and realize our vision of making Lambeth a connected, inclusive place to thrive.”
The Smart Cities World Expo Congress 2019 was held from November 19 to 21 at the Gran Via Venue in Barcelona.