We are now in an age so normalized by the proliferation of technology that the United Nations has declared access to the Internet a basic human right and securing ubiquitous access to high-speed broadband is a common goal around the world. Communities and countries are actively engaged in learning how to best capture the unparalleled advantages that can be realized across the urban landscape. As smart digital communities cover more and more of the global map, the social, economic, political, and environmental benefits afforded to broadly-connected digital societies are becoming crystal clear.
Technology has and will continue to dramatically change the world. It already affects all of our lives in myriad ways. Digital transformation or digitization—the connection of objects, devices, sensors, cameras, machines, and people to the Internet—has now emerged as the most transformative means to ignite sustainable growth and improve society. Those countries and communities that get ahead and embrace digital innovation will uncover limitless possibilities to drive change, embrace economic growth, attract talent for jobs of the future, reduce their carbon footprint, and keep citizens happy and healthy.
Around the World in 106 (Business) Days
Since July, we’ve met you here each Wednesday to discuss and explore important themes, challenges, and observations of digital transformation. We’ve visited cities, countries, schools, hospitals, and businesses around the world that all share one common thread in their story—the quest toward digitization. Taken together, this series demonstrate the significance of digital technology innovation in shaping our future.
As cities and countries around the globe are facing an onslaught of new and confusing challenges such as urban sprawl, safety and security, traffic congestion, and transportation accessibility, it is increasingly becoming important for public sector leaders to provide smart solutions. And as leaders further embrace the smart city narrative, the main question remains as to how these digital technology solutions will help their citizens and communities.
Motivations for adopting smart city initiatives vary, but one primary reason that has emerged is the desire to enhance ‘livability’. Livability plays an important role in how cities compete with other cities for tax dollars, jobs, residents, employers, investment, and positive perceptions. Improving livability can be seen both as a strategic asset that contributes to growth, and as a key ingredient to happier, healthier citizens. And when push comes to shove, technology is an enabler, not the end game. Putting people in the forefront is key.
Smart City Walking Tour
Throughout this series, we’ve taken you through a whirlwind of important industry trends, smart technologies, and places of digital transformation. At the Internet of Things World Forum that took place in Dubai this week, many of our spotlighted topics converged and took center stage to demonstrate the cross-vertical impact of IoT. In this week’s post, our digital citizen is participating in our IoT World Forum Smart City Experience tour.
The industry continues to change, reflecting both emerging approaches to delivering innovative IT solutions, and also the faster paced, more complex environment faced by government officials. These topics share a common theme – citizen expectations continue to rise. Government leaders must be agile enough to adapt to changing circumstances and to rapidly deliver safer and smarter outcomes for their cities and countries. Considering what will be valuable and critical for success for effectively managing in the digital era, the public sector is increasingly turning to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the immense opportunities it will provide to turn data into insights and drive highly relevant and compelling outcomes.
The IoT has been increasingly influencing the public safety realm. Thanks to the plethora of connected devices that can collect real-time data – such as body-worn cameras – it’s possible to begin leveraging the real-time, actionable data this ecosystem delivers, enabling public-safety professionals to help keep citizens safer and communities more secure. By harnessing IoT technologies for public safety, first responders and law enforcement can more easily respond to emergencies and even prevent situations from turning into emergencies in the first place.
Real-time police operations at IoT World Forum in Dubai
In this week’s post, our digital citizen is back from the future. Our citizen was fortunate enough to jump a week ahead to this year’s IoT World Forum, set to take stage on Dec 6-8 in Dubai. The visit was to witness the demonstration of a solution built from the ground up and customized for the Dubai municipality. Read More »
Fast. Reliable. Easy to use. As a consumer, this is what I have come to expect from the technology that I use.
Many companies work hard to meet – and exceed – consumers’ technological demands. But in the new digital age in which we live, technology is advancing into all areas of our lives, from transportation to retail to healthcare, and forming a transcendent bond between our physical and digital worlds. As technology crosses into new realms, governments, cities, and countries are being digitized at an increasing pace, and citizens expect the same speed, reliability, and simplicity in these governmental technological advances.
Countries and communities around the world have a responsibility to meet the expectations of their citizens – but their digitization also provides a unique opportunity to position their nations for economic success. In fact, according to research conducted by McKinsey, “digitization of the public sector could free up to $1 trillion annually in economic value worldwide, through improved cost and operational performance.” But what does it mean for a country to ‘digitize’? Cisco defines the process as building a sophisticated technology ecosystem that will allow for greater connectivity, productivity, and security. Sounds like a fantastic idea, no? But how exactly can countries get to this higher ‘digitized’ state of being?
Unlock the Door to Digital Success
In this week’s post, our digital citizen is a renowned business leader tasked with fostering public-private sector partnership initiatives for country digitization efforts. Many countries are making impressive strides in this area. But two countries in particular stand out as the perfect locations for piloting the citizen’s program: France and Israel.
As the 2016 Rio Olympics draw nearer, the eyes of the world are turning to Brazil and South America. Latin American economies have historically been increasingly exposed to global uncertainty and economic volatility. However, the region has made significant progress in adopting technology innovations leading to economic development and initiatives to accelerate and stabilize growth. And as host to some of the world’s largest events, Latin America continues to attract industry leaders, economists, financial executives, technologists, and government innovators that are rallying behind the quest for change. Significant drivers of that change will be innovative technology adoption and digital transformation.
Along with the rest of the world, Latin America is witnessing that digital technologies are not only an essential building block of a society, but currently also the driving force behind social, economic, and political development. We are the fortunate ones to live through – and hold the responsibility to shape – an era in which ubiquitously connected information and communications have become the catalyst of human progress. We really have only scratched the surface of what is possible. And as we observe businesses, communities, and countries as they progress in their respective digital revolutions, we will only continue to deepen our understanding on how technology innovations transform our world.
The Latin America Backpacking Experience
This week, our digital citizen is feeling adventurous as ever. In deciding to take a break from the average workweek, our citizen planned a backpacking excursion throughout Latin America. Follow along as we learn and see first-hand how technology is transforming lives in the region, with new job skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, innovative services and stronger, digitally inclusive societies. Read More »