Smart Cities Emerge: IBM Brings California into the Cloud
The California Department of Technology (CDT) is teaming up with IBM to create CalCloud , a new technological model for other states in the US to bring state governments into the cloud computing of the future.
IBM asserts that CalCloud is the platform that will allow municipalities, local and state governments to subscribe to cloud services, access to IT products “while minimizing upfront capital investment and controlling financial risk.”
CalCloud is meant to entice governments across the nation to “hare a common pool of computing resources and operate more efficiently. Immediate access to modern back-end services frees up state departments to focus on projects with direct impact on the public.”
IBM explained: “More than 20 state departments have already requested IT services through CalCloud.”
AT&T have partnered with IBM to provide the network service needed at the core of this project.
This cloud experiment in California is the beginning of smart city implementation in the US.
Last February, IBM and AT&T announced combining forces to bring a connected network to cities in order to integrate the Internet of Things within municipalities.
This alliance has initiated with the task of with integrating digital solutions for infrastructure of cities to “improve urban planning” and reduce costs to residents.
The AT&T facility at the M2M Foundry in Texas and IBM Global Solution Centers (GSC) around the world will join forces to showcase new inventive smart technologies to enhance customer experience, improve safety measures and enhance protocol in currently used facilities.
Retail corporations see this venture as way to implement “intelligent retail cabinets, enable targeted digital advertising and reduce energy cost and consumption.”
The plan involves technology being shared across the two corporations in order to assist cities and utilities corporations in processing large amounts of data siphoned from databases and sensors that control the inner workings of our national infrastructure.
Key directives of this alliance include:
- Better allocate and distribute resources based on information reported from incidents and service disruptions.
- Analyze the movement of people to improve traffic management, parking capacity, location and number of first unit responders.
- City officials can better prepare and react to potential bottlenecks and other issues in case of an emergency.
- Identify inefficient traffic patterns so that traffic can be re-routed; better allocate public safety resources in places where majority of people congregate.
- Monitor social media updates from citizens reporting bad weather or major traffic so the city can take best course of action.
Rick Qualman, vice president of strategy and business development at IBM explained: “Smarter cities, cars, homes, machines and consumer devices will drive the growth of the Internet of Things along with the infrastructure that goes with them, unleashing a wave of new possibilities for gathering data, predictive, analytics and automation. The new collaboration with AT&T will offer insights from crowdsourcing, mobile applications, sensors and analytics on the cloud, enabling all organizations to better listen, respond and predict.”
Chris Hill, vice president at AT&T said: “This collaboration of two world-class companies will help deliver a more connected planet. We share a vision that the ‘Internet of Things’ will help companies in a variety of industries rely on their remote assets and connected devices to take their business to the next level.”
Under the SmartAmerica Challenge (SAC) “organizations with cyber-physical systems (CPS) technology, programs, and test beds [will] demonstrate the potential to improve safety, sustainability, efficiency, mobility, and overall quality of life” by integrating smart technology.
AT&T and IBM are part of the SAC initiative.
According to experts at IDC Government Insights “smart cities are at an inflection point and will need to focus on mission-driven technology solutions.”
The IDC say that in 2014 “15% of smart cities will move up the implementation framework to the opportunistic stage, exhibiting characteristics such as stakeholder buy-in for projects and a move toward more consequential projects overall.”
IBM envisions a tri-fold mission based on “planning and management, humans and infrastructure.”
This includes services such as:
• Smart building and urban planning
• Environmental concerns
• Efficient use of energy and water
• Smart transportation
• Integrated education, healthcare and social programs
• Smart monitoring of public safety
Other predictions for smart cities revolve around the use of technology to influence the daily life of residents.
Investments in municipal smart technology include fiber optic networks that will be facilitated by 3rd party providers to deliver the needed broadband to residents.
Allan McHale, director of Memoori , explains that 2014 is the year innovators expect governments will invest financially to build smart buildings to reduce energy and place stringent controls of specified areas.
McHale said : “Further support is coming from Smart Cities. As cities across the world face aging infrastructures and dwindling financial resources, city governments will increasingly undertake initiatives to manage these challenges such as Smart Grid technologies for grid modernization; outage management; and integration of a variety of power generation sources, including on-premises generation, and consumer energy management solutions.”