Smart Cities: Next Stop for Utility CIOs and CTOs


By: Forrester


By Usman Sindhu and Doug Washburn


What is a Smart City? Forrester defines it as the use of smart computing technologies to make the critical infrastructure components and services of a city more intelligent, interconnected, and efficient.


Civic leaders and CIOs are applying these smart computing technologies to seven critical infrastructure components and services: city administration, education, healthcare, public safety, real estate, transportation, and utilities.


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There are several real-life examples that will help CIOs visualize the smart city. One example stems from utilities: delivering only as much energy or water as is required while reducing waste. A smart utility infrastructureâ€"for energy and waterâ€"entails making existing systems efficient and finding new ways of producing and delivering water, gas, and electricity.


Due to the scarcity of resources, it’s imperative to implement smarter ways in which energy is conserved, delivered, and managed. Cities around the world are implementing smart grids with interconnected IP-enabled sensors, SCADA systems, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, distribution systems, transformers, and metering technologies. Malta, for example, has become a Smart Grid country. It is integrating smart computing technologies in both its water and power systems to identify water leaks and electricity losses in the grid. Moreover, there are 250,000 interactive meters monitoring electricity use in real time. The result? Citizens and businesses can look at water and energy consumptions and manage use accordingly. They are also planning to replace carbon-intensive fuel oil with renewable energy for future needs.


The Smart Grid is leading the next wave of intelligent and efficient cities, but the vision is more than just technology investments and people. It requires a level of collaboration and decision-making that extends far beyond any CIO’s direct sphere of influence. With that in mind, it’s essential for CIOs and CTOs to position themselves as critical enablers of the smart city and influence the conversation to ensure a technology-advocate perspective.


If you’re interested in learning more about Smart City initiatives and what it means for IT professionals, please see: "Helping CIOs Understand ‘Smart City’ Initiatives.”


Usman Sindhu is a researcher at Forrester Research, where he focuses on challenges and solutions around network access control (NAC) and smart critical infrastructure security and its link to critical infrastructure protection (CIP) and cyber security. Doug Washburn is an analyst at Forrester Research, where he focuses on green IT, green business, and IT leadership skills.


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