The absence of a framework-based holistic approach along with a feasible revenue model are several factors which are delaying large-scale smart-city projects in India, says Gartner, a global IT research company. It further says that though several small pilot projects are underway, no large city-wide projects are being announced. The research firm predicts that by 2020 less than 10% of smart city projects that are large scale would be implemented in the country.
“While many Indian cities have announced smart city projects, a structured approach in selecting these projects has thus far been missing from most city councils,” said Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research vice president at Gartner. “To succeed, technology product management leaders of smart city products and services must focus on a long-term, consultative approach and innovative revenue models.”
Factors for ensuring successful smart city projects
There are a number of factors that a holistic approach has to take into account: present state of physical and IT infrastructure of a city; a particular city’s challenges; needs of citizens; and existing capacities of the city machinery in order to be able to deliver crucial services. Gaps in software, hardware, network, connectivity, and security have to be bridged in order to implement infrastructure for cost-effective smart city service delivery.
Besides, key decision-making authorities and state departments like utilities, public works, state highways, and urban and rural development need to work towards incorporating Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Analytics, and Cloud technology components in large-scale infrastructure projects, so the physical infrastructure on the whole turns smart. According to Gartner, most city authorities favor small projects due to quick and ease of implementation and better returns on investment.
“A city CEO will require time to put into place policies, protocols, mechanisms, and procedures so that other modalities and technicalities for transaction, interdepartmental communication, and functioning within a smart city project could be implemented,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global leader in cloud technology.
Challenges in implementation of smart city projects
The research giant also thinks that only 20% of the existing funding would be used for IT-based smart city products, whereas the remainder 80% would be utilized for the development of physical infrastructure.
“City authorities and managers of products and services would have to take into consideration the revenue model to ensure reasonable returns on investments. Depending on citizens to fully pay for smart city services could be another challenge. Adequate volumes would have to be ensured for the revenue model to turn profitable,” added Shashank.