As local government leaders refine their smart city strategies, build a case for funding and engage with their communities, a great deal of consideration must be given to the technology adopted. Cities stand to gain the most from connecting people with data, and whilst the meaning of smart city continues to evolve, at its core the definition remains the same- solving urban challenges with the use of technology. So why is the choice of technology provider so important? And what do cities stand to gain by putting local technology on their smart city agenda?
Research and insight
Location matters when research is involved. Those Australian technology companies who continually invest in smart city research benefit from local knowledge, they are in a position to collaborate and more intimately understand the intricacies and challenges faced by local councils. Further; they intimately understand Australian conditions when designing, testing and building smart city hardware.
Australia also gives strong support to the ICT sector, offering some of the world’s most generous R&D support targeted at cost competiveness and attracting investment. The winners are the end user, with substantially more invested in research and the ability to build more cutting edge, innovative smart city solutions.
Development undertaken overseas is done so under different laws and regulations and work is often held to different standards. When dealing locally help is close by should something go wrong, and this help is often more reliable than a remote service. Reliability is most important when integrating infringement grade parking sensor technology in smart city strategies, the technology must be robust enough to be court defensible and offer communities and councils alike the reassurance of accuracy.
Boosting the local economy
Technology skills and capabilities are foundational to Australia’s economic growth. The sector is unique and transformative, dealing with local developers and smart technology manufacturers in the short term offers you a superior product, but long term the effects are far greater. Communities become more satisfied and much of what is earnt in Australia is spent locally.
Hosting data in the cloud has many benefits, it allows scale up as storage and operational needs change, it allows for easy reliable backups and more often than not it offers cost savings. But what about data sovereignty? It can become a complex legal issue. Depending on the type data stored, data sovereignty may not be a major concern, but if councils are storing personal data it can be difficult to maintain privacy regulations. The good news is there are a growing number of cloud service providers in Australia, where data is stored in data centres located in Australia. If a provider is Australian and they have international operations, first verify where the data is stored; to mitigate risk it is worthwhile ensuring personal data remains on Australian soil.
Dealing with home grown smart technology eases burdens and improves products and services. It goes beyond time zone frustrations into the intricate details of community satisfaction, business culture and sentiment.
We invite you to download our white paper Re-designing services with Smart Data: Defining our Future Cities. This white paper examines better practices in creating a single view of the citizen, providing data quality assurances and using data effectively to provide a more convenient digital service to your customers.