When IBM released its Cloud-based Intelligent Operations software suite, it certainly had the increasingly overpopulated cities around the globe in mind. Many major cities, unfortunately, are facing growing population density, ill-maintained infrastructure, slashed budgets, and the challenge of surviving with fewer resources.
Those with appreciation of big data analytics will agree that cities can utilize big data technologies to gain valuable insights and preserve the habitability of the cities. IBM recently published an info-graphic, depicting the vast opportunities of big-data driven, smart cities and their impact on the global economy.
IBMs Intelligent Operation software can help transform city operations to higher efficiency. Designed in collaboration with city leaders, this software suite offers predictive analytics tools to help prepare budgets for capital improvements. With this product, cities have the option to adopt a pay-as-you-go approach to transforming city services at the citys own pace, more efficiently using valuable taxpayer dollars.
The vision of Smart Cities includes many benefits provided by IBMs big-data analytics platform, a few of which are discussed here:
- With hardly any need for specialized hardware or software setup, cities can immediately reap the benefits of big-data enabled city planning and resource management.
- Cities can engage in infrastructure planning through scenario-based, budget forecasts and definite plans for capital improvements.
- City agencies and departments can manage and share information ranging from parking, traffic, sanitation, special events and building permits.
- Cities can correlate activities throughout the city to understand permit patterns, predict problems and provide city services.
- Cities can conduct water efficiency analytics to enhance the performance of city water systems, while saving energy and reducing water loss.
- Cities can visualize city infrastructure and analyze realistic, maintenance costs and schedules.
- By accumulating data from various departments, cities will be able to get a common view of the citys operations to aid decisions such as reducing traffic congestion or avoiding event conflicts such as roadway maintenance around a city event.
Cambridge, Ontario has more than 250,000 infrastructure assets with a total value of $1.6 billion, including more than 300 miles of roads and more than 1,200 miles of underground water mains, sewage and storm pipes.
With IBMs software platform, the city administrators:
- Conduct what-if analyses to make better decisions
- Use smart algorithms to predict which assets will fail and when
- Review departmental data to decide whether as asset should be replaced or repaired
- Use the built-in financial-planning tool to budget projects.
Through the careful capital forecasting, and better use of resource management, the City of Cambridge is expected to save at least $100,000 per year.