Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is key to a building business. It enables the sensing of data through physical instruments, interconnecting and integrating them from multiple sources and analyzing them for intelligent patterns. The term ICT spans IT and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities.
Cloud comes into the smart city picture for operating and managing the ICT infrastructure. Most cities already have some IT to manage their employees, assets and generate regulatory reports. To incorporate additional ICT, they have a few choices:
• Continue with an on-premises infrastructure approach
• Move all IT and ICT to cloud
• Work with both on-premises IT and additional ICT on cloud for a hybrid environment
• Use a mix of on-premises and cloud from multiple vendors for a hybrid environment
Cloud can provide the following features in the technological revolution:
• A uniform interaction endpoint. The users of a city’s services are its citizens, businesses, the government itself and visitors. They may access the services from a gamut of mobile devices and over the web. A cloud-based application programming interface (API) back end can enable developers to provide a seamless experience.
• A privacy management and enforcement service. Since a city deals with citizens’ information, a number of privacy regulations need to be adhered to. A cloud-based back end makes it easy to manage and enforce privacy.
• A cost-effective scalable infrastructure. As a city grows, the smart city services demands will increase and cloud technology is designed for offering scalability at low cost.
• A composable integration platform. A cloud platform allows the city to offer new services rapidly by composing existing capabilities. This helps a city engage citizens at low cost.
Hybrid clouds offer a middle ground among the options and hence, a promising way forward for all business in 2015.