Security Business

APR 2019

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8 Security Business / / April 2019 SECURITY WATCH BY JOEL GRIFFIN, EDITOR, SECURITYINFOWATCH.COM Top Story Smart City Dream Still on Hold for Many Municipalities New survey reveals the obstacles facing smart city implementations The proliferation of IP cameras and other Internet of Things (IoT) sensors in recent years has seen municipalities around the world explore how to leverage these devices to make their cities operate more intelligently. But while some civic leaders and residents have thrown themselves and their dollars wholeheartedly into these smart city initiatives, others have barely gotten such efforts off the ground. To learn where cities are as it relates to smart city implementations and some of the factors that are hindering their efforts, Johnson Controls recently conducted its second annual “Smart City Indicator Survey,” which polled more than 330 city leaders across 20 countries, including 120 from Canada and the U.S. Globally, 22 percent said that they are implementing a strategic program, while 29 percent had published a strategy. North American cities tended to be a bit further along in their implementations, as 29 percent are in the process of implementing and another 37 percent indicated that their strategy had been published. Only three percent of respondents globally said they had no smart city initiative. While deploying municipal surveillance networks, intelligent lighting and traffic sensors may seem like a no-brainer for today’s metropolises given their expanding populations, Hank Monaco, VP of Marketing for Johnson Controls, says that every city is different when it comes to the types of problems they are trying to solve with technology, and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can be easily replicated for every smart city project. “It starts with this notion of what the ambition of a city is and the important elements of what they are trying to accomplish,” Monaco explains. “For example, it can revolve around public safety, resiliency for the water utility system, or efficiency, or smart connectivity with street lights. It really starts with the ambition of the community, and once that has been articulated, identify some of the partners in the ecosystem and key stakeholders.” Obstacles to Implementation Unsurprisingly, funding remains one of the biggest hurdles; however, the survey found a number of other obstacles, including: lack of city leadership (18 percent); lack of state/federal government support (18 percent) and security concerns (14 percent). Securing financing remains a struggle for some cities. The most popular method for financing smart city projects, according to the survey, were either through city funding efforts or via the state/federal government (55 percent for both), followed by public-private partnerships (43 percent), utilities (17 percent), private sector (six percent), and user-funded (three percent). Thirty-six percent of respondents said that unavailability of appropriate financing options was a top financial barrier. The Role of Integrators Given that the survey identified systems integration, data analytics, AI/machine learning, cybersecurity and the IoT as the top smart city technology trends, security integrators should play a key role. “Being trusted advisors is really important,” Monaco says. “It is up to us, as integrators, to develop a strong level of expertise, and it starts with listening to the needs, problems, desires and aspirations of city leaders. If we listen well, and we bring subject matter expertise to the table and look at the approach holistically, there is no silver bullet – it is a number of different elements. We have to make sure we are thinking broadly and getting feedback from a variety of key stakeholders.” Many of those surveyed indicated their communities are already implementing various smart city applications, including physical security technology. “Getting insights from, leveraging and protecting data is critical,” Monaco adds. “This is somewhat of a daunting road we are on in preparing for the future and leveraging technology...but you can take steps to get ready – you don’t have to do everything at once. That is something both city leaders and integrators need to be thinking about.” ■ Check out the full article: "It is up to integrators to develop a strong level of expertise, and it starts with listening to the needs, problems, desires and aspirations of city leaders." — Hank Monaco, Johnson Controls

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