During SAPPHIRENOW last week I was able to engage in a dialogue with clients, analysts and colleagues about  how cities can connect more to improve citizens lives. 

From my perspective cities can adopt new policies at a higher velocity than federal and state governments and therefore can lead all levels of government in finding new ways to serve citizens’.  Cities time and time again have shown hat they can lead in many shapes and forms.  They have shown they can successfully leverage new technologies to harness data for collective insight, engaged citizens’ and businesses in unique ways and executed sustainability initiatives help improve their communities. 

There is no doubt cities worldwide have the opportunity to improve safety, sustainability, health, education, transparency and
accountability using real-time data from assets, infrastructure, social sentiment, citizen sensors and transactional systems by
connecting the dots between people, processes and data. But in order to take advantage of the massive opportunity in front of them, city governments need break down the silos between departments and with citizens and businesses and connect in new ways to achieve a new level of success.   Not only will cities need to connect to smart Infrastructure but they must nurture the connection between agencies, citizens and businesses.

During SAPPHIRE I highlighted a few examples of organization’s that either removed the vertical silos between departments and/or collaborated horizontally across and between agencies and across the community to better reach their objectives.  For example, the way Montreal transit recently leveraged technology to develop a 1:1 relationship with riders, bringing them relevant, geo-localized information – through an instant customer reward & recognition program leveraging  customer purchasing history, preferences and interests.  I also discussed how the Port of Hamburg connected stakeholders to a sophisticated port scheduling application for optimal routing and scheduling in real time and how Boston provides officials, citizens and policy makers with the same insight. 

The road ahead is clear.  Stay tuned for more examples as we press ahead with other cities and break down the silos and find new success.

Feel free to share your views with me via Twitter @dantericci1 or reply to this blog.  You can also go to this link to learn more about SAP Urban Matters.

Urban Matters

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