Ten Predictions For Smart Cities

The world is becoming ever more connected and while smart devices within smart homes are now an accepted and ingrained part of society, the idea of smart cities remains for many a somewhat maverick concept. However, in the not so distant future we will live in cities and societies that are totally connected to the Internet, with entire infrastructures dependent on remaining connected.
 
Already the current spending on smarter cites currently stands at £81 Billion. A new forecast from the International Data Corporation IDC's Worldwide Smart Cities Spending Guide shows global spending on smart cities initiatives will reach $189.5 billion in 2023. 
 
The top priorities for these initiatives will be resilient energy and infrastructure projects followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation. Together, these priority areas will account for more than half of all smart cities spending throughout the 2019-2023 forecast.
 
IDC's Worldwide Smart Cities Spending Guide provides unique insight on future technology opportunities in Smart Cities across all regions around the world. Segmented by use case, strategic priority, and technology component, this guide provides IT vendors with insights into this rapidly growing market, the spending on IT innovations, and how the market will develop over the coming years. 
 
Over the next decade of smart cities work, there will be fewer IoT projects, more citizen input, and more communication between cars and infrastructure, according to the smart cities team at IDC.  City leaders will build digital trust in new technology by setting clear data-use policies as the first step in the technology procurement process.  
 
Although climate change did not appear on the predictions list, Ruthbea Yesner, vice president worldwide government insights at IDC, said it is a huge driver of smart city work.  "Cities are looking at how anything from communications to technology can build community resilience and help them respond and adapt to this changing environment," Yesner said.  
 
By 2023 cities and governments will be spending $196 billion on smart cities work. The biggest spending categories are fixed visual surveillance, public transportation, and smart lighting. 
 
10 predictions for smart cities work in 2020 fall into five main areats:  
 
• Public safety 
• Data use 
• Talent issues 
• Digital trust 
• Macroeconomic impact of technology 
 
In 2020, 10% to 30% of IoT will fail to launch or scale due to weak performance metrics, poor understanding of products, and lack of funding. Yesner says that IDC has found that more than 35% of cities have deployed an IoT project while 12% said they had developed but not launched it.  
 
In a survey, city leaders said IoT projects stalled or died because of lack of internal skills, limited budgets, and a lack of understanding of the technology's benefits. Yesner said there are many roadblocks to success, including a lack of staff and resources. Yesner said that assumptions often didn't match the reality of how cities work. One example of expectations not matching results is a popular project of converting incandescent street lights to LEDs and this ist because many US cities pay a flat fee for electricity and do not see a cost savings for using less electricity.
 
In a related IoT prediction, IDC thinks that by 2023, 20% of cybersecurity incidents will stem from Smart City IoT device deployments, which will lead to double-digit increases in cybersecurity software and staff training budgets.  
 
More Data Ethics Policies 
Alison Brooks, an IDC research vice president for smart cities and communities, said that cities will respond to increasing skepticism around surveillance technology by establishing clear data use policies. IDC predicts that 75% of next-gen public safety technology procurements will have specifications preemptively scoped by strict policy frameworks. Prediction No. 4 addresses data policies. 
 
Brooks said that residents mostly accept "intelligence everywhere" data collection in a consumer capacity, but not when the state adopts a similar approach. She said that privacy advocates are concerned with the increasingly broad surveillance of citizen's daily activities and potential misuse of biometric data. "This includes social media monitoring, predictive policing, cell-site simulators, automatic number plate recognition, drones, and gun detection," Brooks said. 
 
To respond to these concerns, cities will start to develop "carefully worded and strictly scoped policy frameworks that delineate acceptable use." Setting data-use policies should be the first step in the tech purchasing process. Yesner thinks that cities have to build community engagement into every project to ensure ultimate success and even funding. 
 
5G vs. DSRC for vehicle-to-infrastructure communication 
IDC's predictions highlight a challenge cities face in making it easy for cars and trucks to communicate with city infrastructure like stop lights, crosswalks and stop signs. A few years ago when municipalities started investing in vehicle to infrastructure technology (V2I), dedicated short-range communications was a viable choice. Now that 5G is becoming more available, cities are now stuck in the middle of the debate between two standards.  
 
Max Claps, research director of IDC government insights, said that some automakers are split with some using 5G technology, BMW, Mercedes, and Ford, while others including GM and Volkswagen using DSRC. IDC predicts that by 2025, 25% of major cities worldwide will have picked one standard or the other and installed V2I infrastructure. "We recommend that cities work closely with regulators and car manufacturers to make sure the eventual road map minimizes the cost of investment," Claps said.  Another IDC 5G prediction is that by 2024 75% of all large cities will use 5G to scale key services including real-time crime centers, V2I connectivity, and smart stadiums. 
 
IDC Worldwide Smart Cities and Communities: 2020 Predictions  
 
1: In 2020, 10%–30% of Smart City IoT projects will fail to launch or scale due to ill-defined outcomes or KPIs, poor understanding of vendor offerings, and/or inadequate funding and stakeholder engagement.
2: By 2021, 20% of cities will use composite indexes to assess the value of initiatives, such as predictive policing, mobility as a service, and personalized care.
3: By 2021, in response to pressure from citizens and advocacy groups, 75% of next-gen public safety technology procurements will have specifications preemptively scoped by strict policy frameworks.
4: By 2022, 50% of large cities will develop data ethics policies that define how and what data can be collected, used, and shared.
5: By 2023, 25% of successful Smart Cities digital twin platforms will be used to automate processes for increasingly complex, interconnected ecosystems of assets and products.
6: By 2023, 20% of cybersecurity incidents will stem from Smart City IoT device deployments, forcing double-digit increases in cybersecurity software and staff training budgets.
7: By 2024, 90% of greenfield cities and 20% of existing cities globally will adopt digital space planning capabilities and new zoning regulations to realize the benefits of the growing sharing economy.
8: By 2024, 70% of city data scientist jobs will be unfilled, resulting in increased investment in robotic process automation and AI-native systems, which will exponentially grow data capabilities without adding headcount.
9: By 2024, one-third of all Smart Cities use cases will be impacted by 5G, and 75% of large cities will use 5G to scale key services such as real-time crime centers, V2I connectivity, and smart stadiums.
10: By 2025, 25% of major cities worldwide will have installed connected vehicle infrastructure using either 5G or DSRC as countries and regions settle on one standard or the other.
 
IDC 11:      IDDC 2 :        TechRepublic:      ZDNet:     Information-Age:
 
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