Digital City Solutions Help City Managers Increase Productivity
We have found that two primary drivers are focusing development in this space:
- Rapidly decreasing costs in technology: smart meters and sensors are now available at low costs and also are much smaller; they can collect data in real time (or close to it) across cities, buildings, ports, floors, offices, and for specific assets. This also includes the development of new social media applications that bring this information in an articulate and emphatic form to a wider array of stakeholders. Together, these advances have greatly reduced the costs associated with visibility and management of city / port / airport operations.
- Increasing demands for information by consumers and residents: smart phone growth has been exponential over the past few years, and many consumers / residents have phones that they rely upon for a wide array of purposes; one of which is the ability to easily communicate with other consumers, stakeholders and public officials. Digital Cities are relying upon mobile applications, integrated to back office systems, to effectively communicate / sell / promote / listen to stakeholders who will influence growth and be active participants in digital city operations.
A recent project that reflects these drivers is a Large Digital City in Western India.
The city is India's first hill city, with a level of city infrastructure yet to be experienced in India, thus setting a new benchmark in planning, construction and service delivery. It has the distinction of being the largest urban infrastructure project in India and it provides significant economic benefits to the region. Located near two major metropolises, Mumbai and Pune, the digital city is fast developing amidst 25,000 acres of land. It is being developed in a phased manner, planned across five town centers. Based on the principles of New Urbanism, the master plan of city has been developed by internationally renowned design consultant HOK, USA.
The city found itself manually managing a ton of information that was difficult to search and expensive to maintain. Employees needed faster access to information and better ways to achieve team collaboration. “Without a robust collaboration system in place, routine tasks become tedious and time-consuming, which bogs down productivity and undermines morale,” says Vice President - Information Systems. “We were becoming too large an organisation to operate without a central database, document management system, or network.”
Wipro worked with the digital city in the areas of City Management System & Services, E-Governance, ICT infrastructure and value added services, including providing intelligent home solutions and digital lifestyle.
Wipro’s ICT 2.0 Digital City services provide integrated and effective solutions for enhancing IT operations within the Digital city, focused on enabling operating models, while defining processes for delivering best-in-class governance services. Wipro provided the necessary Digital City infrastructure to support technology selection, supply, installation and management of platforms, networks, data centre to create “MyCity.” “MyCity,” a data integration and collaboration technology platform, provided the city with a single, central place to get information, helping users increase productivity, and enhance collaboration.
With a successful information platform, the city has greater transparency into business processes and significantly streamlines everyday tasks and minimizes paper costs.
With specific customization and fine tuning of the portal in place, The Digital City is building a culture based on the real-time sharing of information and integration, leading to faster decision-making. It also has a dramatic impact on internal communications within the rapidly evolving enterprise.
Employees have access to countless resources, which helps them quickly find critical information. This helps them to optimize their efficiency and serve management in a better way. The solution also drives users to increase productivity. It assists managers to take timely decisions by providing real time updated data and thus enhances certainty. The productivity has increased by 30 percent post deployment of the solution.
The city President says, “Seamless flow of information helps employees in accessing and effectively utilizing data. Access to information, faster workflows, increased opportunities for staff collaboration and enhanced community building with employees will have a positive impact on our business and will give better visibility and control. This only results in enhanced productivity.”
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While 2018 was filled with a number of successful smart city deployments, it also revealed significant challenges that will only intensify in years to come. The most pressing challenge to be addressed throughout 2019 is earning the public’s trust in smart city projects. Towards the end of 2018, we saw major data privacy concerns emerge from citizens. From these concerns a heated, but healthy discourse between citizens, local governments, and private sector companies rose to mainstream media prominence. Citizens’ expectations of privacy have begun to challenge the murky data privacy policies described by many in the private sector. 2019 will be the year of the smart city for the citizen.
Collaboration extends beyond City Hall. Unlike a city like New York, where most government functions are under the purview of the municipal government, a city the size of Chula Vista (population 268,000) or smaller has to collaborate with regional partners, such as school districts, hospital districts, water districts, the port district, and neighboring cities. By keeping dialogue open and working together on major projects we’ve opened up new opportunities for economic development, smart cities pilot initiatives and education.
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