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
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