We have learned a tremendous amount about the challenges facing today's cities and how IBM, through the expertise of its employees, can add value as city leaders look for solutions. In particular, we have found that cities are most often struggling to:
Do more with less In today's difficult global economy, municipal governments are struggling with demands to increase basic services and to do so with fewer available resources. Smarter Cities Challenge teams from Newark to Mecklenburg County have delivered recommendations that are helping these cities make smarter, more strategic investments in their communities, maximizing value in the long term.
Bridge silos in information and operations Even as cities tackle issues that cut across segments of society - for example, transportation policies that affect economic development - their operations are organized and their data is collected separately. Our work in cities like St. Louis, Providence and Ho Chi Minh City has revealed that changes in technology, data analytics and other tools can help cities bridge those gaps and enhance collaboration across departments.
Invest in infrastructure for better management Many of today's cities are suffering from years of disinvestment in basic infrastructure, and especially technology infrastructure. These gaps, due in part to budgetary pressure but also to the regular turnover of leadership, have kept cities, their leaders and citizens from realizing their full potential, slowing economic development and constraining their ability to make informed, data-driven decisions. Smarter Cities Challenge engagements all over the world are demonstrating how the right investments in infrastructure can introduce long-term efficiencies and dramatically transform a city's prospects for growth.