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#SmartConnectedCity Series: Tackling City Challenges and Creating Opportunity with IoE and Smart+Connected Communities

What If…

…You have access to unlimited computing power at a reasonable price…

…You have access to unlimited storage and bandwidth at a reasonable price…

…Everything is connected to everything else…

Then…

Would you still provide healthcare and education in the same ways?

Would you run cities the same way?

Would you live your life the same way?

I think you’ll agree that the answer is no.

The Internet has already radically changed the way most of us live our lives. If we take a look at the challenges facing cities today--overcrowding, traffic, areas of poverty, crime, limited access to healthcare, education, citizen services—we recognize the opportunity for the Internet—as it evolves—to radically change the way we address these challenges as well.

New Answers to Big Problems

But to do so, we need to ask some simple, yet profound questions: Why is there traffic? How do we dispense medical information and healthcare more efficiently when 70% of the time a doctor doesn’t need to actually be in the room to help you? Can we provide more efficient street lighting and still keep our streets safe? How do we continue to provide adequate citizen services as cities grow by 10,000 people per hour?

The growth and convergence of things and data as well as people and processes on the Internet–which Cisco calls The Internet of Everything (IoE)--is allowing us to look at the challenges our cities are facing in new ways. At the same time technology is evolving, the price for computing, storage and bandwidth has dropped to nearly free.

Everything is Being Connected

By 2020–only a few years from now--upwards of 50 billion devices--video cameras, home security systems, refrigerators, your car, your medication, maybe even your baby’s diaper--will be connected to the Internet, each one requesting and generating more and more data. And that data will need to be analyzed and packaged to make it useful.

Cisco has estimated that the value of all of these connections in terms of the opportunities and the savings they represent to be a startling $19 trillion over the next decade…and the portion of that dedicated just to public-sector activities to be $4.6 trillion.

Big Opportunities for Cities that Get Smart

Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) initiative applies the power of IoE to the problems faced by cities. We’ve crafted a set of architectures and a growing portfolio of solutions to allow cities to gather relevant data, analyze it, process it, share it and deliver it to the right people, places, and things to make things happen. Whether it’s to change the stop lights to green as an ambulance is making its way to a hospital or automatically alert the public when the water supply has been compromised, a smart, connected city has more tools in its arsenal to address its most pressing challenges – and leverage new economic opportunities.

Barcelona is a prime example of a city – along with dozens more including Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Songdo--that has already embraced the smart vision and is making radical architectural, technological and process investments for their future by engaging in a variety of smart, connected city projects.

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An Update on Recent Industry Events and IoT in Manufacturing

It has been a crazy past three weeks with IoT and IoE for myself and also Cisco.  We recently hosted Cisco Live where we had over 25,000 attendees onsite and over 200,000 more attend virtually.  By the end of that week, I felt I had met each and every one and had at least a 15 minute conversation with them.  The buzz is there and our customers are telling us we are aligned to tackle this market and make IoT  in manufacturing take off.  Aside from our customers, I also had the pleasure to talk with leading industry and manufacturing analysts on our vision of IoT as well as various customer projects.  Here’s what one leading analyst blogged about right after CiscoLive:

“…current plant networks are like spangled spaghetti, which Cisco is attempting to untangle it based on its powerful networking routers and switches in a secure, simple and an effective way. The converged platform approach solves flexibility, scalability and responsiveness challenges of end-users. At a juncture, wherein customers across industry verticals are looking at standardization and standards-driven manufacturing, Cisco clearly has cracked the code with this platform approach.”  -

-Muthuraman Ramasamy, Frost & Sullivan

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Cisco #SmartConnectedCity Series Kick-Off: Re-Defining the Citizen Experience through Technology and IoE

With the annual New Cities Summit coming up in Dallas, Texas, June 17-19,  we’re kicking off a new thought leadership blog series to explore the transformation of cities through the power of technology and the Internet of Everything (IoE). The series will feature posts with an in-depth look at the juncture of innovation in cities and how technology can help transform the citizen experience and drive economic growth and sustainability.

I’m thrilled to be able to kick off this series and am looking forward to following the conversations that ensue. Given my focus on local government, I am particularly passionate about the issues facing cities and local government leadership, and feel that technology can be a very formidable force when it comes to enabling positive change to enhance and improve our communities.

Cities around the world face an increasing array of challenges: traffic congestion, parking, safety and security, waste and water management, and access to education and healthcare. Mayors and city managers are looking to technology to solve these challenges, while also finding efficient ways to provide better services, enhance livability, reduce the municipality’s carbon footprint, as well as expand the ability of its leadership to be more accessible to its constituents.

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The Digital Renaissance Is Here. Is Your Company’s Culture Ready?

Sooner or later we all feel like throwing up our hands and cursing the complexity of modern life. But while technology may seem the chief culprit in making things unmanageable, it is also the ultimate solution to complexity.

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, it is particularly important for business leaders to understand the power of technology to simplify our lives and support JBradleySAPinformed decision making. And this was a core theme at Sapphire Now 2014, an event in Orlando, Fla., that I was privileged to attend last week.

By using network technology to integrate people, process, data, and things, IoE counters complexity in unprecedented ways. In a city, this can involve something as simple as cutting the time it takes to find a (connected) parking space. Or IoE technologies can scale up to reroute traffic lights; for example, to head-off highway backups before, during, and after a large event.

In a brick-and-mortar retail setting (a key area of discussion at Sapphire Now), IoE can alleviate the complexity of managing customers, staffing, and products. With data from multiple sources comes heightened, real-time awareness, empowering managers to react faster than ever. For example, they can then stock shelves and reorganize staff in response to constantly changing levels of demand. With predictive analytics they can even respond before a customer rush begins.

The idea of hyper-aware, real-time decision-making resonated during a Sapphire Now panel discussion titled Thrive in the Digital Networks of the New Economy. I was honored to share the panel with such luminaries as Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT; Michael Chui of McKinsey Global Institute; and Jai Shekhawat, Deepak Krishnamurthy, and Vivek Bapat of SAP. And there was much discussion on the impact of bad decisions on failed organizations. Which is why we all take such an interest in technology that enables good ones.

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Copenhagen Gets Greener with the Internet of Everything

Once a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen today stands tall among the world’s most technologically enlightened cities.

Most everyone knows that Denmark’s capital is praised worldwide for its green initiatives, which are obvious from the pure air, clean sidewalks, ever-present bicycles and fresh-water canals, which I’ve enjoyed swimming in over the years.

There’s good reason Copenhagen topped the 2012 Global Green Economy Index and was recently named “The European Green Capital 2014.”

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