I can hardly wait. In two days the suspense will be over and the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) will have selected its 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year. With so many extraordinary and innovative communities in the running, I’m glad it’s not up to me to choose one. But I do have the thrill and privilege of seeing it all happen, live in New York City at the ICF Summit this week.
I and the other attendees will no doubt listen in awe to the inspiring leaders from all around the world as they talk about the way their organizations are changing the way people in their communities or regions work, live, play, and learn. Who will be this year’s winner? One strong candidate is Toronto Canada, one of this year’s Top7 communities. Learn more about their initiatives in the video below:
Later today, we’ll hear from Toronto’s Councillor, Michael Thompson, and have the opportunity to pick his brain during a group Q&A session to learn more about how Toronto is improving their economic and social environment by providing community network services to its constituents, with its energy-reducing smart and connected buildings to link residents and businesses, with portals and kiosks to provide real-time services to citizens, and with smart sensors and surveillance for public safety. I’d say they’re a pretty tough contender!
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Tags: cloud, intelligent communities forum, intelligent communities summit, intelligent community award, local government, smart and connected communities, Smart Cities, top7
By Brenda Germundson and Stacey Cannon
In wrapping up the series, we wanted to show you a specific example of how a cloud solution can be used in local government. The example in the video below will walk you through a local government scenario and demonstrate how cloud capabilities can enable agencies to improve agility and performance, increase operational efficiencies to reduce costs, and enhance on-demand citizen services, among other things.
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Tags: cloud, Cloud Intelligent Network, Connected Government, mobility, State Local Government
Not long ago this joke was buzzing around the Internet:
Question: Why was the computer late to work?
Answer: Because it had a hard drive.
David Letterman does not have to look over his shoulder but the corny little joke is loaded with possibilities for a discussion about the power of the Cloud and communities.
As the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2013 make their way toward New York this week for the annual dialogue among 250 invited global thought leaders (including Cisco’s Dr. Norman Jacknis, who will give this year’s “Revolutionary Community” keynote talk), the ingredients for the secret sauce used to re-energize communities for the 21st Century will be revealed by its “chefs. “ I am guessing that one of the revealed secrets will be that the idea of being late for work has become passé. Connectivity, when invested in properly, unleashes a new knowledge workforce and revives communities that have been looking for ways for their local economies to flourish. Certainly broadband connectivity and more affordable access to the cloud remain big drivers for community revival and at least part of the secret toward solving many problems, including commuting and productivity.
So is vision. Attendees will also hear from people like BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis , who will discuss why he believes quantum computing will be the next silicon for his community, Waterloo, Canada, the 2007 Intelligent Community of the Year. He has invested CAN$250 million in a fund to begin to make it so. He has the right environment. Waterloo, a city of only 120,000 people, produced 10% of all the publicly-traded companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2007. This was not an accident. It shares traits with Intelligent Communities everywhere.
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Tags: cloud, digital inclusion, intelligent communities, Smart Cities
This is the second in a two-part blog series that examines the opportunities that cloud-based services offer to law enforcement agencies—along with the challenges of this fundamental shift in the way information resources are managed.
Information systems are at the core of all police organizations. Policing is an information business—arrests are made on the basis of information received and shared; intelligence is generated from analyzing data; and operational effectiveness depends on knowing where resources are.
Police organizations have been dependent on computers for 50 years, and police IT departments have been set up to procure and manage them. The development of the cloud has the potential to drive change. But, if we look away from innovative areas such as crowdsourced crime reporting and social media, adoption is slow. Why is this the case?
Cloud-like services are not new in policing. Since the 1970s, U.K. forces have benefited from the availability of information services provided by third parties in the form of the Police National Computer and, later, the DNA database and the national fingerprint system. These services have been provided by public-sector organizations—sometimes in collaboration with private-sector providers—and could be seen as a private-cloud service.
At issue now, though, is not just the provision of external information services. Cloud computing also raises the possibility of forces accessing critical internal systems via the cloud. This could include ERP, intelligence systems, command and control, and case management.
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This is the first in a two-part blog series that examines the opportunities that cloud-based services offer to law enforcement agencies—along with the challenges of this fundamental shift in the way information resources are managed.
Police forces have a well-established culture of owning and managing systems directly founded on concerns about security and control of access to information. Three trends, however, make this position unsustainable:
- Traditional models for acquiring and running systems, which slow the pace of innovation
- Increasing need to form partnerships with other police agencies, public-sector bodies, and the private sector. Partnership depends on information sharing and open approaches to developing systems.
One of the most radical—and successful—cloud-based public-safety and security services is Facewatch. Using a network-based model, Facewatch provides an online reporting tool that allows U.K. businesses and citizens to report crimes and attach video evidence. The service enables crime victims to cancel credit cards instantly through Facewatch’s partners; allows users to share images of wanted people; and provides a channel for feedback from the police on the outcomes of cases.
Facewatch offers immediate benefits to the public, businesses, and law enforcement:
- Citizens: ease of reporting and rapid management of associated processes
- Businesses: less time required to deal with incidents
- Law enforcement: reduces or eliminates the need to interact directly with premises to recover video footage
For all users, there is greater transparency about processes and reporting on outcomes, as well as the ability for communities to share information about wanted persons and crime trends.
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Tags: Cisco, cloud, Cloud Computing, Facewatch, IBSG, law enforcement, network, networking, police, Public Safety, security, social media, technology, United Kingdom