At the 2011 IBM Smarter Cities Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Forrester Analyst Jennifer Belissent commented that IBM Smarter Cities has moved "from blueprints to proof points". Through over 2,000 engagements from around the world, we have learnt that our companies, our cities and our world are complex systems - indeed, systems of systems. Advancing these systems to be more instrumented, intelligent and interconnected requires a profound shift in management and governance toward far more collaborative approaches.
Today, the majority of us live in cities, and the percentage is growing. Municipal leaders who run the complex network of diverse people, expected services and aging infrastructure are on a constant search for more efficient ways to analyse data, anticipate problems and coordinate resources in their cities.
As centers of business, culture and life, cities are logical places to integrate many of the Smarter Planet principles and innovations in public safety, transportation, water, building, social services and agencies. A new kind of solution, the IBM Intelligent Operations Center for Smarter Cities (also available for cloud) synchronises and analyses efforts among sectors and agencies as they happen, giving decision-makers consolidated information that helps them anticipate - rather than just react to - problems. By using these tested approaches, cities can manage growth and development in a sustainable way that minimises disruptions and helps increase prosperity for everyone.
The Smarter City's time has come. Most cities already collect massive amounts of data, it just needs to be put to better use. Investing in information technology is one of the most fiscally prudent options for many municipalities that face severe service cuts. These are indeed difficult times, but they force us to re-imagine the future of cities. From where we're sitting, it looks pretty bright.
For more information, visit our website www.ibm.com/sg/smarterplanet