Predictions from research firm IDC revealed three particularly interesting trends emerging around the smart cities movement.
According to IDC research director of the global Smart Cities Strategies program Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, in 2016, look for growing adoption and awareness of the smart city concept by an expanding set of government leaders.
“Not only does IDC see more demand for strategy development and implementation road maps, but the requests come from cities, counties, states and central/federal government agencies,” she wrote in an article for Govtech website. “We predict that by 2017, at least 20 of the world’s largest countries will create national smart city policies to prioritize funding and document technical and business guidelines.”
She also sees a better understanding of the impact of the Internet of Things, including both benefits and challenges. In this way, despite growing investment and adoption of smart city projects, there will continue to be a lack citywide policies.
“As such, we predict that in 2016, 90 percent of cities worldwide will lack a comprehensive set of policies on the public and private use of drones, sensors and devices. This will result in increased privacy and security risks,” she said. “Similarly, we see a more acute and faster adoption of public safety and transportation IoT investment, often without a strategic framework, which IDC believes will lead to more project risk and wasted spending, such as spending on duplicative systems or devices.”
Lastly, IDC sees the growing importance of social media, crowdsourcing and sharing economy companies to smart cities, as both a source of data and a way to help make sense of the data.
“Not only is this data unstructured in the form of text, video, images and audio, but it also comes from a variety of sources that exist independent of government. This presents a challenge since data from these sources can be highly relevant and useful for improving government services,” she wrote, pointing to the crowdsourcing Waze traffic app as an example. “Crowdsourced traffic information for commuters, if integrated with systems in the transportation management center, would help operators update digital signs more quickly, potentially adjust traffic signals and dispatch responders more quickly.”
According to Clarke, these three trends will impact multiple aspects of smart city development, which governments should keep in mind when formulating their strategies for investment and implementation.