To get smart, cities must get connected — and have an IoT plan

Jul 15, 2016   |   Microsoft IoT

As the Internet of Things (IoT) spreads to more and more areas of our lives, it’s only natural that it should begin to improve experiences in a place that so many of us call home — the world’s cities.

Whether an urban metropolis or local municipality, cities stand primed to reap the benefits of IoT. Public infrastructure offers countless locations to place sensors to collect data on everything from pedestrian safety to traffic management. By connecting to the Internet and using cloud-based analytics tools, city governments can aggregate anonymous, raw numbers into intelligent insights that can improve how they deliver services and respond to emergencies — all to improve the quality of urban life.

But before cities become IoT-connected, they need a plan. “A proactive strategy will maximize the return on an IoT investment,” says Peter O’Dell, CEO and founder of Swan Island Networks, a situational intelligence solution based on Microsoft Azure.

O’Dell foresees vast promise of innovation, new services and cost savings for smart cities that plan ahead. While IoT is becoming pervasive and costs are falling, the degree of complexity around of collecting, managing and sharing data can boggle the mind. A seemingly simple use of IoT such as placing sensors to show the location of trucks hauling hazardous materials raises a host of questions:

  • Which agencies are authorized to issue sensors?
  • Who will have access to the data?
  • How do cities ensure data security?

IoT devices and solutions are being widely and quickly deployed in the private sector. In response, the public sector needs to prepare for its own IoT boom by adopting interoperable data standards and policies on privacy and access. You can read the full story on connected cities here.

You’ll also want to check out the new AppSource platform we launched last week, where you can download apps like AvePoint Citizen Services, which helps government agencies become proactive by integrating with modern technologies like the IoT and predictive analytics to spot issues before citizens even encounter them.

For more information on what IoT can do for your business, visit www.InternetofYourThings.com.

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