- Published: 03 February 2020
No successful smart city initiative can thrive in isolation, as the ability to create immersive and interactive experiences requires us to connect and communicate with other people, places and things. Collaboration is a foundational element for success, yet one of the most difficult barriers to address.
Any smart city, building, port, factory or healthcare system requires significant coordination among many different groups, representing IT, operations, HR, systems architecture engineering, security, acquisitions, legal and more. The opportunity to share ideas and learn firsthand how to integrate organizations, technologies and processes was the impetus behind a recent "smart everything” event I led last month.
We gathered technology, strategy and business leaders from across the enterprise, as well as experts from outside organizations and companies that are adding “smarts” to everything, from airports, buildings, bridges, manufacturing facilities and cities to connected healthcare products and smart home products. For two days, we talked about business models, pain points to deployment and adoption, enabling technologies, road maps, interoperability standards, and the critical role of collaboration.
Technology Is Not The Biggest Hurdle
The discussions were inspiring, engaging and revealing, especially thanks to the realization that enacting purposeful progress has less to do with technology and much more with effective organizational change. Here are the five biggest takeaways from our roundtables and brainstorming sessions:
1. Prioritize The Business-Technology Mind Meld
In formulating a business plan, your chances of success increase exponentially when technology stakeholders are involved. Ensuring the right level of participation is key, as a blend of technical expertise and business acumen is needed to balance short-term requirements with long-range goals. Before delving into form, fit and function, step back and build a solid business case that adroitly answers questions about problems you’re trying to solve.
Equally important is understanding that most business plans go through iterative steps and multiple pivots before finalization. Tech and business leaders should revisit plans together, concentrating on evidence-based outcomes to ensure the path forward is achievable.
2. Establish A Path For Collaboration
Once your plan is in place, create a process that brings together people from different backgrounds, skill sets and perspectives. Start by composing a smart project performance baseline. That will help determine who and what needs to be involved to deliver desired functionality.
Airport sustainability efforts, for instance, should be reinforced by a careful alignment of all stakeholders, regardless of responsibility or area of expertise. This means bringing together supercomputing and transportation resources to build more efficient transportation hubs or smart infrastructure for entire regions.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about smart airports or healthcare wearables, the same critical technology building blocks must be considered: wireless power, flexible hybrid electronics, antennas, human-machine interfaces and more. Look for ways to engage all players from the systems architecture design phase through development, user experience, deployment, end user adoption and ongoing maintenance.
3. Educate And Evangelize Before, During And After Deployment
There’s no such thing as overcommunicating when deploying smart technologies. Explain what you’re planning to do upfront, and provide regular updates to ensure the plan’s intent and purpose are universally understood.
It’s essential for the public to see clearly how smart-tech deployments will improve their lives without creating undue burdens, security or privacy risks. In speaking with leaders of several smart city projects, communications shared via town halls, websites, newsletters and even door-to-door canvassing helped alleviate concerns and garner support.
4. Interoperability Is King
As smart objects proliferate, the requirements to connect one object to another will lead to a massive web of interconnectivity across a smart IoT ecosystem. Ensuring that objects can communicate and share useful information requires interoperability standards that don’t exist yet. Most smart gadgets in our homes still don’t operate as plug-and-play devices, which is the ultimate goal.
But first, we need to address high-level interoperability, data security and redundancy requirements. That’s why every discussion about smart everything must address barriers to achieving universal connectivity. While standards for communications, security and interoperability will continue to dominate industry conversations in the short term, don’t lose sight of the broader vision of sharing communities, where collective access to resources is intuitive and easy.
5. Evidence-Based Outcomes Drive Acceptance
Once we can interconnect people, places and things seamlessly, the benefits of smart everything will propel mass acceptance. Until then, it’s crucial for cities and project groups to collect evidence of outcomes and success stories that prove early assumptions while setting a cadence for continued investment and innovation. While technology will continue to evolve, it’s essential to bring people along for the ride to achieve widespread acceptance.
Real-world examples underscore the benefits and offer useful insights into certain commonalities and fundamental elements that apply regardless of industry or application. Elements such as sensors, actuators, data analytics and communication links are being exercised in Singapore and across the United States with the support of organizations encouraging collaboration.
Promoting these success stories is a shared responsibility, as the first airports and cities to integrate smart technology frameworks into legacy systems will offer a road map for others to follow. These real-world examples are fueling the acceleration of launching aspirational smart initiatives such as Toyota’s Woven City, which plans to realize futuristic buildings and infrastructure with a suite of smart systems.
In the end, when a single smart city can coordinate with a neighboring city as easily as with one that is across the country, a flood of new business models, tech innovations and industry transformations will soon follow.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Dan Gamota
Quelle/Source: Forbes, 27.01.2020