How do we collaborate across cities and states to build better and smarter smart cities?

Contributed by: Smart City Tech Summit Partner Splunk

Most cities strive to enable their infrastructure to be “smart”, “connected”, and “data-driven”, but each city has a unique set of challenges which prevent them from realizing maturity along this path at the same pace. Because this is a truly revolutionary concept, there isn’t a “how-to” manual on the best way to do it. New adopters must rely on the experience of those who have embarked on their journey before them.

Lessons can be learned on how what to do, what not to do, how to get more people invested in your success. This knowledge and experience can come from cities, states, technology vendors, and citizen task forces who all work together to realize success and areas in which to improve.

So how do we get cities and states to collaborate and discuss this knowledge so it’s beneficial to everyone involved? We have to start with “where is the value?”.

If the conversation is based around Return on Investment and monetizing the value of the project versus doing nothing, then we give the project legs to stand on in which everyone can agree. What is the risk to the future of our city? Are we leaving our children and grandchildren an infrastructure that will encourage innovation and attract new businesses which will in turn create a stable economy and feed the local economy? Better revenue leads to greater schools, which lead to a more educated workforce and stable environment.

Having these conversations at the state and regional level are paramount to success. It’s important to get leadership buy-in, but also members of the business community, input from citizens, and experienced vendors. Everyone must to sit down together during the planning phase so they feel a sense of ownership. This will open up doors to collaboration that cannot be opened by each group attempting success on their own. Having discussions about the true monetary value being delivered at the state and city level and how that success must be mutually beneficial is going to generate much more reciprocity and willingness to work together to prevent silos and obstacles, and will help drive the discussion toward return on investment.

There are technology platforms which facilitate the sharing of data and analytics among disparate organizations. Including this in the discussion is key to effectively collaborating between city and state. Being able to generate a report at any moment to demonstrate return on a particular area of the initiative will help manage overruns of costs, better position resources, and communicate the progress in key areas of maturity. 

The final thought is, take control of the collaboration in the planning phase by getting the right people on-board from the beginning. Implement a technology to manage the data which allow you to demonstrate, at any moment, the progress you are making and the real return you are experiencing and projecting. Being armed with real-time data is going to benefit everyone involved, regardless of the maturity of your project.

Splunk enables the curious to look closely at what others ignore—machine data—and find what others never see: insights that can help make your company more productive, profitable, competitive and secure. What can you do with Splunk? Learn More.


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