Cities expected to spend $4.8B on big data and cloud by 2017

Communication, data sharing and application development -- particularly cloud computing and data analytics -- will play a key role in the transformation of city government over the next five years, according to a new report from Pike Research.

Cumulative investment in smart government technology between 2011 and 2017 will be almost $4.8 billion, according to the report Smart Government Technologies.

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Annual investment in smart government technologies in North America alone will surpass $1 billion in 2017, and annual investment in cloud services for smart cities will reach nearly $1.4 billion worldwide by 2017, the report states.

City leaders worldwide are under pressure to deliver economic growth, meet sustainability targets and continue to improve the quality of municipal services at a time when they are facing drastic budget cuts. This is forcing many city leaders to improve efficiency and drive further innovation in the creation and delivery of services.

“Cloud-based computing, in particular, offers new options for cities that reduces capital expenditure, provides access to new skills and reduces time-to-deployment of new solutions,” Eric Woods, research director with Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, said in a press statement.

“Cloud-based systems also enable cities to take advantage of the huge amounts of operational data they collect to improve efficiency and develop new services,” Woods said.

Cloud computing is a model that gives the workforce in government agencies and business ubiquitous, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

City leaders are also looking at investment in technology as a means of spurring economic growth. This includes a range of strategies: making the city a center of clean tech development and innovation, creating new types of digital commerce and development, becoming an exporter of technology or retaining or establishing a position as a regional trading hub. Each of these approaches requires a vision of where the city is heading, an investment in infrastructure and a commitment to innovation, the study concludes.

The report includes profiles of major smart government initiatives around the world and also examines the strategies of key players in the smart government market including government agencies, IT companies, telcos, and infrastructure providers. 

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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