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3 Percolating Trends in the Smart World

3 Percolating Trends in the Smart World

by TODD STOLARSKI | Nov 27, 2015

For years, advertisers have known when trying to sell nearly anything, use the adjective “smart” and you’ve got a slam dunk. Smart phones, TVs, cars, homes, and now, our cities. As BW friend and advisor Paul Doherty asks, “Who wants to say that they're ‘against’ something ‘smart’?”

Since 2013, International Data Corporation's Smart City (IDC) team has released an annual Top 10 list of predictions for the upcoming year. This report is meant to help guide city officials (mayors, public works directors, chief technology officers, etc.) to handle the very real, urban challenges they face each day with the crushing budgetary limitations that come with managing a modern municipality.

Here are a few of the trends that IDC sees on the near horizon:

  • Info from social media, crowd-sourcing and sharing economy companies will have a larger impact on cities. How can cities best handle “Big Data”? Think the traffic app Waze. All of that crowd-sourced info could really improve traffic dispatch and operations in the hands of city managers. But implementing that info within the system currently in place is not easy;
  •  A high variability in understanding the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the benefits and challenges that must be considered from new types of mobile and connected things (drones, wearables, connected cars). Generally, it’s difficult for cities to call themselves “smart” right now when so many of them are virtually clueless about connected devices. Also, current security policies are lacking, so they’re playing technological catch-up. IDC predicts that next year, 90% percent of cities worldwide will lack a comprehensive set of policies on the public and private use of drones, sensors and devices. So, expect to see many move to correct that;
  • A growing adoption and awareness of the smart city concept by an expanding set of government leaders. Conference by conference, they’re getting there. Simple supply and demand. IDC predicts that over the next year, at least 20 of the world’s largest countries will create national “smart city” policies to prioritize funding and document technical and business guidelines.


To see all 10 predictions, click here.


To contact the author, write to, or follow him on Twitter @toddstolarski.

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