1. Connected citizens
The key to smart city development is connecting between citizens, businesses and services. Harnessing the power of data is the key to strengthening that connection, and unlocking value.
Cities are already smart. The people, the businesses, the services, and the buildings are already using smart technology. Today’s municipal services are increasingly data-driven, offering greater personalization, accuracy, ease of use, and efficiency. The technological transformation challenge facing city leaders is not just keeping up with heightened demands and soaring expectations—it’s knowing where to go next.
Using data as rocket fuel
More than 90% of cities are gathering data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. There are more than 30 million of these devices in use today, and they service various aspects of government and civil service and produce a phenomenal amount of information. And that’s just one of countless categories of data available to you.
The smart cities seeing the highest ROI are those that are connecting services—and their data—with other departments and outside stakeholders. In fact, according to ESI ThoughtLab’s study “Building a Hyperconnected City”1, 80% of leader cities are working with outside entities to gather data, and 44% are now actively monetizing it.
This is known as hyperconnectivity.
To unlock the full economic, social, environmental, and business value from technology, cities need to morph into hyperconnected urban centers: those that use the latest technologies to transform and interconnect key areas of their ecosystem—from roads to cars, buildings to energy grids, citizens to government, and cities to cities.” Lou Celi, CEO of ESI ThoughtLab
Of the 100 cities surveyed as part of this report, the average spend on hyperconnected projects was nearly US$45 million. The more advanced the cities were in terms of their hyperconnectivity, the greater the ROI—and hyperconnected leaders achieved returns of up to US$83 million.
The cities that undertake advanced data gathering and integration, and make that data accessible to business and citizens, are creating a “hyperconnectivity multiplier.” It’s this open approach to data—supported by robust data use policies—that’s helping these leader cities achieve higher levels of improved citizen and business outcomes, and ROI.
But hyperconnectivity isn’t something you can achieve overnight. With so much data coming from all manner of sources, managing it securely and intelligently to provide positive experiences and outcomes is a significant challenge. And as services and organizations undergo their own journeys of transformation, you’re charged with ensuring that your city has the tools, policies, and skills in place to securely manage the wider sharing, storage, and use of this data.
Building a better city with data-rich services
The common theme of hyperconnectivity is the presence of an integrated platform design that harnesses the power of data. With this foundational layer beneath them, other emerging technologies can operate to their fullest potential.
Great opportunity lies with citizens themselves. A fundamental concept of smart cities is creating a single front door through which citizens and businesses can quickly and smoothly use services, complete tasks, and resolve issues with the city's relevant authorities or departments. Intelligent routing of requests and the use of contextual information—such as location or time of day—ensures that queries are directed to the appropriate teams or departments with minimal friction or input from individuals.
The creation and use of hyperconnected services is so vital that almost a third (32%) of cities are now appointing chief citizen experience officers (CCXOs) responsible for the end-to-end experience of all citizens. Taking a top-down approach to service design ensures that your citizens enjoy a consistent experience across different channels within the same service—websites, email, call centers, apps—and also maintains continuity as they interact with different services across your city.
Oracle is helping city leaders create environments that can improve outcomes for citizens and the collective prosperity of their cities. But knowing where and how to begin is the challenge many city leaders face.
Our focus on partnerships and collaboration, access to technology partners, and unrivalled expertise in data enables cities to grow, keep pace with expectations, and compete with other cities in the global village.
Exploring the opportunities in your city
In the coming chapters, we address the smart city priorities established in the groundbreaking research report “Smarter Cities 2025: Building a Sustainable Business and Financing Plan”2 by ESI ThoughtLab. Read on to learn how cities are using cloud computing, data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and advanced technologies to realize measurable, sustainable returns in the areas of:
At points in the following chapters we also refer to findings from the ESI ThoughtLab research report “Building a Hyperconnected City.” The research consulted 100 cities, which were categorized as:
- Implementer: A city that is making strides and investments to interconnect its urban ecosystem
- Advancer: A city that is making progress on interconnecting its urban ecosystem and realizing benefits
- Leader: A city that is ahead of most peers in interconnecting its urban ecosystem and seeing significant economic, business, and social benefits.
ROI figures were self-reported by the surveyed cities and represent the return on various projects.
They should be used as a means of comparing the return between different areas of smart city development. Total figures are an average across all cities participating in the study.
For each smart city priority, we reference a number of data-driven services that can help you power a new level of community engagement across these areas of development.
Some are end-to-end solutions designed to improve a specific industry or service, while others are more modular and work across a wide range of scenarios and applications.
1 ESI ThoughtLab, “Building a Hyperconnected City”, November 2019
2 ESI ThoughtLab, “Smarter Cities 2025: Building a Sustainable Business and Financing Plan”, November 2018