Cities have traditionally operated their various agencies—utilities, healthcare, education, public safety, air quality, water and waste management—in silos, creating duplication in investment and limiting effectiveness.
In the face of population shifts and rapid urbanization, cities and local government leaders are realizing that in order to compete economically and grow sustainably, they have to integrate these functions and the data they generate and require.
Developing and maintaining a city’s digital infrastructure is becoming as important as the development and maintenance of its physical infrastructure. Like a fourth utility, the services offered across a digital infrastructure are becoming as essential and ubiquitous as water, electricity or plumbing. Jobs and investment—the lifeblood of the city—will depend on it.
Making this vision a reality requires that the many city vertical systems operate more cohesively, adopting an open data approach to gather and share information across a single über network. Cisco refers to this as Smart+ConnectedCity Infrastucture Management (CIM).
…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…
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.
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.
Maciej Kranz, VP and GM of Cisco’s Corporate Technology Group, shares his perspective on Dundee Precious Metals and the Internet of Everything
I’ve traveled a great deal around the globe in the last year and am amazed at the interesting things organizations are doing with technology to connect the unconnected. As we enter the next big phase of the Internet – the Internet of Everything (IoE) – no industry can afford to be left behind. Even the industries that existed long before the Internet was even a glimmer on the horizon, such as manufacturing and mining, can realize great value through IoE. Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) is one example. They’re a manufacturing company that has capitalized on the connections between the people, process, data and things that IoE is enabling, transforming one of the world’s most traditional industries in the process.
When DPM set a goal to increase production of their flagship mining operation by 30 percent, their IT team needed to find a way to reach the target without increasing manpower or the number of vehicles.
With the help of the connections from IoE, now Dundee can share important information in real time, such as miners’ locations, equipment updates and data such as the number of buckets filled. This lets their teams troubleshoot as they go, instead of just at the end of a shift, keeping crews better on track to meet daily goals. What’s more, miners and mine managers had limited communication options since their Wi-Fi didn’t function well underground. So they leveraged Cisco’s unified wireless network to provide coverage along 50 kilometers of tunnels. This let drivers, supervisors and managers communicate efficiently – above ground or below – with calls and instant messaging. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags placed on miners’ caps and vehicles keep everyone synced up with location tracking via a 3D map for improved worker safety. New collaboration capabilities extend to other DPM locations, making face-to-face collaboration possible between managers, geologists and metallurgists as they discuss production, development and project schedules. This all adds up to better understanding and decision-making across the board.
So what have these changes meant for DPM?
Production increased by 400 percent, far exceeding their original 30 percent goal.
Miner safety has improved as they track miners’ movements and know where everyone is at all times.
Asset utilization of vehicles has also improved via continually transmitted data identifying repair needs.
Communication and energy costs have been lowered through more efficient use of resources.
This is just the start of DPM leveraging IoE’s capabilities. The company plans to replicate the same systems in all of its mines, as well as extend the Internet of Everything concept to health monitoring of employees, using connected environmental health sensors.
The Internet of Everything is not just the technology of tomorrow. It is here today, and the networked connections it provides can impact all industries, even those industries with roots from long ago.
Cisco Live kicked off this morning with more than 20,000 attendees storming the streets of San Francisco and the Moscone Convention Center. I am so excited to be hosting Cisco Live again this year – especially because it’s the 25th Anniversary of this event, and this year we’re back in the city that inspired our company’s name and logo.
As attendees are getting settled in for an action-packed week, I want to highlight two dynamic experiences not to be missed at this year’s conference: our Internet of Everything (IoE) Machine – a 20-by-20 foot interactive installation – and five Connected City interactive bus shelters. Both experiences simulate a journey through a connected city, showing how Cisco technology helps cities run like clockwork by connecting people, process, data and things.
Every day, in every city, an event takes place. It could be a baseball game, a music concert or even an innovative conference like Cisco Live. No matter what it is, this event puts pressure on the host city around traffic, energy usage, etc. But the Internet of Everything takes the stress off cities by making airports, roads, power grids, recycling cans, parking lots – you name it -- all smarter so that events can go off without a hitch.