IBM To Make Indian Cities ‘Smarter’, Pilot Projects Underway


Think of all things government and I don’t think you will be able to associate SMART with any of their actions. Well, if IBM has its way things are going to change for good and government departments will be able to make data driven decisions.


Yes, IBM has started working with government departments and civic bodies in various Indian cities to implement its ‘Smart City’ offering. In plain and simple words,

IBM’s Smart City aims to provide a top level view of information across various city departments and empower officials to take corrective steps based on data-driven intelligence provided by the system

Going by how IBM has been marketing / advertising its Smart City offering, it sure looks something that can make cities efficient and Smarter.


IBM has already started conducting pilot projects with various civic bodies across various cities to implement the Intelligent Operations Center (IOC). Part of the Smart City offering, IOC is sit on top of existing legacy systems used by various government departments, clean and mine huge chunks of data and provide a dashboard view of all the information.

Government departments can use this analytic data to make decisions targeted at improving the various processes and make the cities efficient.

Based on the progress till now, IBM has discovered that traffic management, water management, and emergency responses are the areas where there is a lot of scope for improvement and respective government departments are showing interest in improving the cities abilities across these areas.

I am all for unique and interesting applications of technology in government departments and god knows we can use with more efficiently managed cities but having worked for a few years on Enterprise databases and developing intelligence reports, here is where I think the problem lies

Intelligence!= Action

Have access to the most clean data and then have the most complex analytic tool in the world to give you the best possible intelligence that you need for decision making.

What does it achieve?…… Zero!Nada!Zilch

Until and unless the government departments initiate action and make sure those efficiency initiatives are being implemented, IBM’s Smart City will not achieve what is intended to do.

So, IBM will not only have to work with various departments in Indian cities to get access to good data, implement its software and train the users but also hope that the officials ensure that the data driven intelligence translates into action.

What are your thoughts on IBM’s new initiative with Indian cities? Do you think there is a hope that Indian cities will indeed become SMARTER

  1. AK Singh says

    Its huge opportunity for IBM to look at the government sector to adopt such technologies across the metros (especially). However, it will be very difficult times for IBM to crack a government deal post Oracle India Bribe case which recently came into limelight. IBM really need to work very closely with central and state government departments, municipal corporations and real estate builders and construction companies with the support from channel partners to penetrate this segment with their Smart Solutions. One of their successful example of Smarter City Solution is Wave City in Ghaziabad.

    In terms of looking at a image of Smart Cities is still too far for India because unless Indian government gets seriously involved into such initiatives, its difficult to turn a city to Smarter one. And Looking at the economical and political situation in India, it will remain a dream with every other day new scams coming to light. Actually, Scammers are becoming Smarter to loot the country than the Country itself to emerge as a hyper-growth market.

  2. suraj says

    This sounds good i hope crime rates can be controlled by this technology in area like Delhi etc and may be some traffic controlling can be optimized

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  4. Bhasker Raj says

    Only if the government departments work with efficiency and dedication which is lacking.

  5. Bhasker Raj says

    Only if the government departments work with efficiency and dedication which is lacking.

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