Smart Cities

Why the typical smart city approach needs to be changed

True smart city projects require automating current business processes, rather than just putting sensors on everything, according to Scott Fadness, the mayor of Fishers, Indiana.

Scott Fadness is the mayor of Fishers, Indiana, and the co-founder of co-working space Launch Fishers. He sat down with TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco Rayome to discuss why he believes the smart city approach needs to be rethought. You can watch the video above, or read the transcript below.

Scott Fadness: When we look at smart cities today, I see an awful lot of desire to go right to the end solution, which is typically a sensor of some sort. So let's put sensors on everything. We've been reluctant to go that route to date. I think what we have to do, much like our entrepreneurial movement, is to create an environment where data can be consumed. And so part of that work has to go into automating and modernizing your current business processes in a way that allows data to flow freely to an area or a place so to speak that you can have more insightful discussions, conversations and analytics about the data that's already within your organization. Prior to deciding to add in all these other end point data producers like sensors.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the rise of smart cities (Tech Pro Research)

I think the key to your question is really about architecture or the vision of how data comes together. So we do all of these things under the hospice of city hall, but how are they all connected and where does the data go? I think of we can start to build an architecture around that ... I think we have a really good shot at creating an environment where this data becomes more than data, it becomes value. It becomes insightful decisions around business processes here in our city and ultimately a better service level for our residents.

I think the same holds true that you have to be committed to a longer term vision. You have to be ready to invest. You have to be ready to change the culture within your own organization and know that it's not a one and done. It's a long term vision that takes a great deal of commitment.

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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