How Cities are Using the Cloud to Adapt to the Pandemic

By Jessie Feller Hahn, Executive Director, Meeting of the Minds

Jessie Feller Hahn is the Executive Director of Meeting of the Minds where she is responsible for identifying global urban sustainability, innovation, technology best practices and thought leadership, developing platforms for city leaders to share lessons learned, and building alliances and partnerships across and within sectors.

I caught up with Joe Bergera – CEO of Iteris – recently and we discussed a cloud-first strategy for cities and the benefits, particularly during the pandemic. Organizations, cities and companies that have replicated some of their business processes in the cloud have navigated the pandemic quite well. Some have even thrived. It’s not possible for cities to provide all their services in the cloud but there are a lot of services and back end processes that could better leverage cloud technologies. Cloud based services are agile and efficient and local government is recognizing they need to embrace and upgrade their cloud technology. Joe posits that the pandemic has demonstrated that cloud architecture is resilient, agile and even improves cybersecurity. It’s not easy to transition to the cloud but the benefits are now there for cities. Cities can partner with outside expertise if they don’t have it in-house to speed up the transition. Joe is working with agencies to accelerate their projects, particularly infrastructure work and near miss analysis for road fatalities, and reallocate resources to critical planning activities. Take a look and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Good to see the focus on near miss analysis for road fatalities. I see too many agency claims of Toward Zero Deaths and/or Vision Zero, while still relying on reactive safety programs. Continuing to look in the rear view mirror at crash patterns that occurred three to five years ago – I’ve even seen some programs using data from seven to ten years ago — will not address our pandemic-induced modal shifts and travel patterns reflected in today’s dynamic traffic streams. Near miss analyses enable proactive safety programs for all users of the roads, and safety culture shifts to the Safe/Sustainable perspectives that are vital to mainstreaming multimodal safety features into every road project.

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