connected city (ShutterStock image)

Uphill climb to the smart city

What: “Building Smarter Cities and Communities,” a report by researchers at CompTIA

Why: Although smart city spending is expected to top more than $1 trillion worldwide, divided priorities among government IT managers, few actual deployments and little consensus on what even constitutes a smart city initiative.

Findings: Governments are starting to spend on technology again after years of tight budgets and are looking to smart city technology to improve e-government services, save money, improve sustainability expand open data possibilities.

However, the top priorities for municipal governments are modernizing IT systems, devices and applications, ensuring cybersecurity and finding innovative solutions to city problems, according to the survey.

Only 13 percent of municipalities said they had a fully deployed smart city initiative up and running. Another 31 percent have pilot projects underway and 21 percent expect to have plans soon, leaving a quarter of cities with no immediate plans for smart city activity.

Additionally, what constitutes smart city spending varies based on the types of expenditures included and how that data is reported.

But even those municipalities that are eager to deploy smart initiatives worry that they won't be able to find the necessary funding. Other top hurdles to implementation include cybersecurity and bureaucracy, survey respondents said. 

To ensure a successful smart city initiative, CompTIA recommends cities follow cybersecurity standards, get out in front of possible regulatory issues, improve data management, invest in expanding the IT workforce, explore public-private partnerships and evaluate programs to ensure they deliver needed services and employment opportunities across the entire population.

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a former reporter for GCN.

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