Home Study shows cities getting smarter in 2017, but data use gets dumber

Study shows cities getting smarter in 2017, but data use gets dumber

In its 2017 predictions, International Data Corp. (IDC) sees smart city activity and open data projects accelerating, though urban leaders will remain poorly equipped to harness the new data potential.

The market research firm recently released its report IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Smart Cities 2017 Predictions.

Smart cities are expected to begin churning out staggering amounts of data from connected infrastructure and widely proliferating Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

However, IDC sees that by 2017 a shocking 75% of global cities will fail to take full advantage of this wealth of smart city data and related digital assets.

IDC says the data disconnect is largely due to a talent vacuum, with city personnel lacking critical project management, process and change management skills.

On the positive side IDC sees a trend towards increased maturity in smart city digitization efforts. By 2019 it predicts that nations with 50% of mid- to large-sized cities with high levels of smart city maturity will be more successful in country digitization initiatives.

Seeing a future in open data projects

IDC also saw positive developments on the horizon for smart city open data projects. It predicts that by 2019 50% of open data projects will evolve both monetized and free data services. Cities will drive these data services as they experiment with new data revenue models in their efforts to justify open data investments.

“The awareness of the potential of Smart Cities has grown exponentially over the past year. States, provinces, counties, cities, and national governments realize that they can positively alter the lives of millions of urban residents with the technology and data-driven opportunities digital transformation provides,” said global director of IDC’s Smart Cities Strategies Ruthbea Yesner Clarke.

“This transformation is not without challenges, as a broad ecosystems of partners must work together to implement complex initiatives, and this will affect the entire program life cycle from policies and regulation to worker training and process improvements,” she added.

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