was at it again this month. Trend-spotting, I mean -- this time at the Gartner Symposium and ITXo
in that most dramatic, unlikely, and challenging future city, Dubai. But it wasn't just another roundup of how big the market for cloud, SaaS, analytics, and mobile will be by 2017. It was something rather narrower, and much more interesting. The research giant came up with a list of the top ten technology trends for smarter governments. Not just for city governments, of course, but the list
seems tailor-made for us to critique, praise, add to, and subtract from.
Here goes (with my comments):
1. Personal mobile workplace
BYOD will break down the barriers between personal and professional on almost every device -- even for government employees. Yes, that's here already, and will continue.
2. Mobile citizen engagement
Mobile apps will be a prime vehicle for citizen-facing services, especially those which are time- and location-sensitive. In many places -- like here in New York -- that's as much a present as a future reality.
3. Big data and actionable analytics
Use cases for big data will grow, and will continue to challenge existing IT resources. There is limited success in using big data to identify inefficiencies and reduce costs. I'd say that big data isn't the magic answer to every urban problem, but making government data transparent will be a growing trend.
4. Cost-effective open data
This is an essential part of making big data increasingly relevant to governance.
5. Citizen managed data
Another aspect of the same phenomenon.
6. Hybrid IT and cloud
Although governments continue to buy public cloud time, there's increased emphasis on private cloud. From where I'm sitting, hybrid is the way forward for business and government -- for the most part. Certainly the increasing importance of mobile connectivity and big-data analytics will promote the growth of cloud use.
7. Internet of Things
As we've repeatedly discussed here at Future Cities, a number of urban environments are serving as models for what IoT might be capable of offering.
8. Cross-domain interoperability
Interoperability, energy, and funding. These are the three keys to the tech aspects of future city development.
9. BPM for case management
Structure automation of criminal and civil investigations. Interesting, but a little off-topic for us.
10. Gamification for engagement
Sure, we'll see some of this, but it will remain peripheral to smart city planning -- because like me, most people actually aren't gamers.
Not a bad list, then, although it makes a meal of open and transparent data. One important trend I'd add is collaboration between governments, technology corporations, and academic institutions, all of which are important stakeholders in the development of a smarter society.
What do you think? Do you have any items to add? Is there anything on this list you just think is plain silly? Let us know.
— Kim Davis, Editor-in-Chief, UBM Future Cities