Trends Report

Getting Clever About Smart Cities: New Opportunities Require New Business Models

November 2nd, 2010
With contributors:
Christopher Mines , Edward Radcliffe , Yahor Darashkevich

Summary

Population growth and urbanization are stretching many cities' infrastructure and resources to breaking point. Policymakers and public leaders are increasingly looking to ICT solutions to effectively provide public services like education, healthcare, safety, transportation, and utilities. At the same time, municipal bankruptcies and public-sector financial crises create a gap between the ends required and the means to get there. Public-sector IT leaders are less optimistic about the outlook for their sector than those in other industries. Yet, they do report plans to increase spending for certain hardware and software categories, particularly industry-specific applications and networking equipment that underpin smart city initiatives. Demand from local governments, along with similar conglomerations like universities and company towns, will drive incremental opportunities for ICT suppliers in the coming years. To capitalize on these opportunities, vendor strategists must partner with urban leaders, providing guidance not only on the technology solutions and services but also on the business models and delivery options that will ensure the long-term viability of smart city projects.

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