As urban populations grow, exponential change is happening in the world around us and within governments. This change is driven by one core idea leading to a change of expectations of governments. Many cities are turning to smart city solutions that involved the use of technology and to build more livable environments that improve the delivery of public services; this is causing a change in societal behavior. Residents and citizens expect their governments to adapt to a manner similar to how corporations choose to interact with their existing customers. Citizens & residents expect to be able to access services such as law enforcement quickly, efficiently, and in any geographic location that is convenient for them.
These smart or hyperconnected cities unlock full economic, social, environmental, and business value from technology. Such cities are using the latest technologies to transform and interconnect critical areas of their ecosystem—from roads to cars, buildings to surveillance cameras that can be deployed at government properties, public transits, commercial buildings, and roadways. Equally important, they interlink and engage government, business, academia, and people, and even other cities. By aligning urban assets and players, city leaders can fuel a virtuous cycle of economic, business, and social gains.
The Hyperconnected Multiplier Effect
As per ESI ThoughtLab, the average return on investments in hyperconnected initiatives ranges from 3% to 4%. As cities become more interconnected, their ROI grows: cities are just starting to realize a lower return than those further along. Implementers see a return of 1.8%, while advancers gain 2.6%, and hyperconnected leaders get a 5% boost. These percentages can translate into substantial dollar amounts. The average city can unlock $45 million in returns—which range from $19.6 million to $40 million for advancers and $83 million for hyperconnected leaders. This is on top of the sizable social, quality of life, health, and environmental benefits.
Technavio estimates that the worldwide market for smart city project investment is $1.2 trillion, so if all cities move to become hyperconnected, they could generate a return of $40 billion, with the impact increasing to as high as $60 billion if all cities were to become hyperconnected leaders.
Civic Tech For Real Community Engagement
Hyperconnected leaders are more sophisticated in their use of technology than other cities. Almost three-quarters have an innovation hub to promote the use of advanced technologies, and even more, understand the importance of cybersecurity when adopting new technologies. Almost two-thirds comply with international standards and employ senior executives with adequate resources to oversee the use of new technologies.
For instance, to stay connected to citizens, cities have appointed chief citizen experience officers (CCXOs) who look after the end-to-end experience of citizens, ensuring that digital technology is designed with the citizens' values and needs in mind. In most cities, this encompasses responsibility for the citizens' experience across the entire breadth of all the urban and regional services, connecting citizens to governments.
VIDIZMO provides solutions that connect governments with their citizens through video & other digital assets. Government organizations can live-stream new policies & initiatives directly to their citizens, while at the same time attach documents such as handouts, which would provide further details to citizens about new initiatives.
Furthermore, with VIDIZMO centralized and integrated solutions, governments can bring services like law enforcement closer to its citizens. With access to live feeds directly from surveillance systems, public safety providers can respond to emergencies quickly and effectively.
With VIDIZMO's solutions and Artificial Intelligence, governments can make cities smarter and safer by applying Artificial Intelligence to video streams for applications such as public safety, traffic management, and resource optimization.
VIDIZMO's solutions are also available on Azure Government Cloud, meaning that approved U.S. government agencies can now easily include geospatial and location intelligence capabilities in solutions deployed on Azure Government Cloud. Cities can use Azure Maps for enabling geospatial and location intelligence capabilities for smart mobility, public safety, disaster and emergency management, criminal justice, and more.
This can be used for broader plans that involve reducing carbon emissions & traffic control by using a video feed from surveillance cameras to alert drivers about traffic jams or parking spaces, saving gas, and preventing pollution.
Enhanced Civic Engagement, Trust, and Security
As a growing number of the global population moves toward urban areas, city leaders face immense pressure to not only accommodate their needs in terms of infrastructure, mobility, and social care but also public safety. These pressures run head-on with the challenges of constrained resources. In the U.S. alone, more than $100 billion accounts for expenditure on public safety while in the European Union (EU), expenditure on public order and safety averages almost 1.7% of the GDP.
Imagine a world where civic systems are integrated with intelligent, secure, and safe cloud technology that enables public safety providers better informing them and allowing collaboration before, during, and after incidents. In these smart cities, public safety teams have the tools needed to:
- Identify crime trends and work with community leaders & stakeholders, public safety teams to resolve.
- Improve situational awareness, reduce incident response times, & equipping first responders with details on similar previous emergencies that inform better judgments, saving more lives, and ensuring situations return to normal as soon as possible.
- Leverage better access to information that can be analyzed to improve inter-agency coordination and collaboration.
- Bring together structured and unstructured data in a secure and compliant manner to compile evidence and reconstruct events much faster.
Furthermore, for public safety agencies, it is critical that they have the right information at the right time so that they can respond adequately. Through VIDIZMO's consolidated system, agencies can access ready-to-use portals for various departments within your organization with complete segregation, thereby allowing access to cross-agency data that empowers first responders to make these intelligence-led decisions remotely.
Through VIDIZMO's Artificial Intelligence features, command units can access layers of context about events like identity through face detection, license plates, & more. These services enable more effective communication, providing access and easily connecting with the people, improving situational awareness, and collapse situational response time.
To cope with the increased risks from cyber attacks, cities are spending more on cybersecurity and increasing their staffing. Most cities have increased budgets by 1% to 10% over the past three years, and just over a quarter have done more. Over the next three years, spending is expected to grow even faster. Also, around half of cities (72% of leaders) plan to create a pool of cybersecurity talent that can be used to support departments across the city. Almost half of the cities plan to bolster their cybersecurity departments by providing training to existing staff. Interestingly, leaders spend twice as much as implementers on cybersecurity.
VIDIZMO has also committed significant investment and time to security. VIDIZMO's solution has robust security offering with various safety controls, both on an application level and for stored content. VIDIZMO provides features such as single sign-on authentication, role-based access control, tamper detection, login encryption, to name a few security features to prevent unauthorized access, tampering with existing evidence. That helps protect your agency, critical infrastructure, and citizen data from cyber threats to earn public trust in government data security. This helps in ensuring the right access to information and protect organizational data from internal leaks, data breaches, and cyberattacks.
Furthermore, by leveraging Microsoft Azure‘s Government Cloud, VIDIZMO satisfies regulatory compliance requirements and helps protect personal information to deliver innovative citizen services.
Make Government More Transparent & Inclusive
Hyperconnected leaders are extremely sensitive to the needs of citizens actively engaging them in citywide issues. A vast majority of leaders need to ensure that stakeholders involved and affected know the value brought to the table by smart city projects, allowing them to stay engaged and provide input. As per ESI ThoughLab, about two-thirds take steps to ensure that disadvantaged populations, such as the disabled, digitally illiterate, or poor, stay included and involved in smart city programs.
VIDIZMO leverages Microsoft Azure's Cognitive Services that offer transcription services, increasing the accessibility to content by providing machine-generated automatic transcription broadening how many people can watch, understand, and embrace video content, such as those who are hard of hearing or deaf.
Increase Worker Mobility and Promote Team Collaboration & Training
Innovative Connected Solutions for Smart Cities
The terms "Smart Cities" and "digital transformation" brings to mind a fast-paced progression that is taking advantage of disruptive technology and innovations. However, in reality, despite several years of growth in awareness of the opportunities of Smart Cities, most municipalities still struggle with putting ideas to reality, often with difficulty in securing funding, determining which solutions or vendors to use, scaling initiatives, or measuring ROI.
IDC's research has shown that 64% of cities and regional governments are digitally distraught — lacking some foundational tools to move in a determined, enterprise wide process to digital transformation. Digitally distraught organizations lack an enterprise strategy and a truly collaborative culture. This results in departments and agencies deploying point solutions that may be highly successful but ultimately generate future integration challenges, reinforce silos, and hide the actual cost of ownership. With the lack of interoperability, each new service requires integration with security, operations, information, compliance, reporting, and more. Managing inconsistency and redundancy is not only a waste of valuable resources but, worse, it also reduces the agility of the entire municipality to respond to opportunities or challenges.
VIDIZMO's centralized and consolidated solution that easily integrates with existing new and legacy infrastructure. Governments are, therefore, not working in silos, unable to analyze useful data that can provide meaningful outcomes. VIDIZMO's solutions are providing the mobility and scalability needed by governmental organizations to be better informed and collaborate before, during, and after incidents. VIDIZMO's solutions, along with artificial intelligence, further enables organizations to gain insight from deep repositories of information, putting data to new, productive use, giving them the agility and insights needs to respond to opportunities and challenges quickly.
The Future of Work
Smart City DX strategy connects the city priorities and desired outcomes to technology investments; however, 48% of respondents to IDC's 2019 Digital Transformation Executive Sentiment Survey have initiatives that are disconnected from citywide strategy or initiated at the function or department level, with only some connection to citywide plans. Cities and regional governments around the world indicate that they are "connected Islands;" 35% of respondents said that "we employ multiple digital technologies that run separately to our core IT platform."
In response, many local and regional governments worldwide will develop a road map strategy DX in the next one to two years. Over 17% of organizations have a bifurcated strategy, with separate technology and citywide plans. Even without a developed road map, cities are focused on using Smart City projects and initiatives for priority areas, with almost half prioritizing talent, including change management collaboration and innovation culture, followed by providing superior products and services and operational excellence for the creation of new offerings. This corresponds to where cities are seeing the most benefits as well. As we discuss, talent and employee productivity are essential to focus on areas for Smart City transformation.
Cities around the world are facing staffing pressures as they compete for talent and have a high percentage of retirement-eligible employees. This talent gap is more pronounced in IT functions, such as security and data science. The result is that Smart Cities are very actively looking for ways to make government work more gratifying and modern to retain and attract employees.
By leveraging Microsoft Azure's products, VIDIZMO, an enterprise video platform, can help employees record, create, store, search, and share live & on-demand content from any device, anytime, anywhere. Moreover, live-streamed corporate messaging, training and innovative activities and initiatives such as employee-generated content or live product demos also add significantly to employee interest, creativity, and engagement levels, making government work more gratifying.
Human beings naturally prefer visual learning and therefore are familiar with videos. This means employees not only prefer videos but can also deliver more efficiently using a medium they are already using outside of work. Younger employees are eager to embrace & watch videos. Beyond the "cool factor," videos enable inexperienced workers to learn more quickly by simulating on-the-job experiences.
Through VIDIZMO, recruiters can focus on a culture that is focused on engaged and empowered workers who are tasked with high-value, desired tasks that are aligned to new digital skills. Culture in Smart Cities means cross-disciplinary teams that work together to leverage and share data and technology and even physical assets that can be used for multiple uses. HR and IT departments can reskill existing workers and onboarding new workers through VIDIZMO's platform, by uploading videos on topics that provide inclusive hiring practices, builds agile teams, and aligns skills requirements and metrics to business goals.
To know how VIDIZMO drive intelligent smart cities of the future