make Smart city The key to the success of the smart city market is access to the majority, not the minority, and the general public, not the elite.
I recently attended a smart city conference in Barcelona. Having participated in such events for years, it was special to fly a carry-on case (or fly a carry-on case) away from London. See who is in charge) and wander the parliamentary winter wonderland. Lights, colors, people, robot dogs, drones, drones, free coffee, Catalan pastries — it’s Santa’s smart city cave.
But I still had the familiar sinking feeling of creating a solution for the wrong audience. We always market smart city stories with demographics that use the least amount of money and resources provided by the public sector. I watch videos of diverse but always photogenic people talking to bathroom mirrors, cars, office lights, garage doors, and plants before ordering a flight to New York through their sleeves. I saw it one after another. This is not the world of city government.
As an analyst, I have been briefed on my life and provided marketing materials for vendors. For many years, I’ve been asking vendors to show me “blue-collar” solutions. A politician asked me how to explain a smart city at the front door in the rain while doing a door-to-door canvassing in Scunthorpe, England. My answer didn’t even convince me.
Assuming that the majority of public sector spending (with little light) is spent on social welfare and health, and vendors want to sell value propositions on a large scale, why are they the biggest? Don’t you focus on the location of RoI? For customers? What does smart city mean to single mothers when it comes to benefits in high-rise buildings without elevators? Why are robot care assistants better than human care assistants? I’ve never seen a robot wash his hands.
Smart cities are something to come for years, but you can only be “to come” for a limited time. From enlightened self-interest, I believe vendors need to pivot from designing solutions for the disadvantaged and focus on what technology can do for the disadvantaged. In doing so, they support the results the city is looking for and sell more. Reduce robot dogs and provide a more realistic solution. I still liked dogs.
IDC’s European Government Insights focuses on solutions that impact people, location and performance. The integration of that idea IDC European Government Executive Summit 2021: Snapshot Then look for a new IDC Worldwide Research Agenda called Sustainable Buildings, Housing and Districts in 2022.
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