Cloud ensures smart city applications are future-proof, says report

Hybrid cloud offers a cost-effective and future-proof infrastructure for smart city applications, according to a new white paper by Machina Research, commissioned by Philips Lighting.

The report says that smart city technologies such as street light control, smart parking and road traffic management are now being widely deployed around the world, enhancing city operations and quality of life while reducing costs and energy use.

Noting that these services currently tend to be deployed as stand-alone applications, Machina says that the full benefits of a smart city will only be realised if these applications are able to share data, enabling cross-department processes, engaging citizens, and making city operations transparent to all stakeholders.

Additionally, many cities are growing rapidly and it’s important that smart city applications can be extended and expanded as required, meaning a future-proof IT strategy is essential. And because physical location is no longer a major factor in IT infrastructure management, cloud solutions are likely to be the logical next step, the white paper states.

Margaret Ranken, the author of the white paper, explains: “Cloud implementations deliver the flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness needed to implement smart city applications connecting many thousands of end-points. As cities implement their smart city applications, they will find that making use of cloud infrastructure for new applications, while maintaining existing in-house infrastructure, at least in the short term, is the only practical solution.”

According to Philips Lighting, decision-makers should make sure the following questions can be answered satisfactorily when implementing smart city applications:Is it scalable?Is suitable connectivity available?Are the right IT staff available?Is it sufficiently secure?Can all the elements be integrated successfully?Is it accessible?

“A well-designed smart city infrastructure can enhance services and business opportunities, improve safety, and boost collaboration between the city, its citizens, and businesses and continue to do so for decades to come,” the lighting company concludes.

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