Developers to lead smart city charge


Smart cities are crucial to kick starting the UK economy, says Ovum, and developers are needed to bring the innovation

Developers from the mobile world are the key to taking smart cities forward into the next, more innovative level of integration into people's lives, stated research firm, Ovum.

Cities are complicated, interdependent ecosystems that are being targeted by national governments as the crucible for reanimation of the economy. With such a focus on what areas the government should priorities to kick start the UK economy Joe Dignan, chief public sector technology analyst at Ovum, pointed to developers as the key catalyst in taking smart cities to the next level and driving the market.

'The smart city market is at a tipping point,' stated Joe Dignan. 'Having been led by IT industry stalwarts such as IBM and Cisco for the last five years, it needs a fresh injection of ideas to take it to the next level. We believe the developer community will add the required impetus.'

Dignan continued: 'Developers are key actors in the smart city debate for three main reasons. Firstly, unlike the IT industry, they can live with the five to 10 years return on investment models inherent in smart city. Secondly their physical infrastructure enables them to work at the junction between the key smart city metrics of sustainability, quality of life, and competitiveness. Finally, developers have years of project financing experience and a comprehensive understanding of the financial instruments required.'

Smart cities need developers to move forward, however, developers will also need to work closer with the IT community to make this happen, warned Dignan. He said although developers and the IT industry have always had common interests, the 'smart' aspect of smart cities assumes an unprecedented level of IT technology.

'So, while developers embrace complexity through their master planning skills, they need to understand the new IT paradigms of cloud, Internet of Things, Big Data, and 'bring your own device', thus bringing this new model for strategic partnering for smart cities to the fore, led by developers,' Dignan concluded.


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