by Susan Eustis
Cloud Computing: Chris O’Connor IBM VP Talks About Smarter Cities
Smarter Cities initiatives are being implemented on the top of cloud computing. The aim is to get governments started implementing automated process in an affordable manner. Models and intelligent operations centers are leveraged. Systems improvements are being applied to city government to manage police, transportation, water, and fire departments. IBM has tackled the provision of integration of entire blocks of city services in a manner that supports management at a very granular level.
A common transportation model leverages systems approaches to problem solving. Workflows and analytics can be applied to traffic flow analysis, coming up with the ability to reroute on the fly, help understand why streets get congested, and make the city transportation systems run better. Predictive analytics let city departments understand 5 to 30 minutes ahead of time that a problem is about to occur, providing authorities the ability to act before congestion occurs. The aim is to move buses around and reroute traffic in order to keep public transportation moving in anticipation of a problem.
Managers are given tools to adjust flows so as to prevent problems from happening. Health and transportation systems are given ties into public safety using the IBM model.
Intelligent water systems are being implemented in a way that makes sense, all using cloud computing. A holistic planning view is being combined with deep domain expertise that brings new management capability to cities.
IBM has designed software with the aim to support water commissioners. A water commissioner and a manager of homeless shelters can communicate with each other easier and with citizens. Citizen interaction is supported. Policing can be improved as illustrated by the example of New York City, providing a best of breed organized portfolio.
IBM solutions approach to managing cities is based on an elegant IBM cloud. The cloud works because the cities are frequently budget constrained. They cannot charge more taxes. Bond referendums are wrung out. Cloud offerings permit cities to purchase the same software they would buy from IBM on a license, but it is hosted on the cloud. The cloud provides a rental model
IBM says “we have had several positive comments from customers that have been surveyed about the cloud pricing, users seem to like it that the cloud model can avoid an immediate capital expenditure. Dealing with maintenance and a product support staff, etc. in the cloud seems to be a plus for our cloud customers.” Vinodh Swaminathan, director of IBM business development for intelligent transportation systems did say on the IBM analyst call today that having “predictive” analytics was very important to Singapore and to Zhenjiang.