By Daniel Hunter

Cities are complicated, interdependent ecosystems that are being targeted by national governments as the crucible for reanimation of the economy.

With such a focus on what areas the government should prioritise to kick start the UK economy Joe Dignan, Chief Public Sector Technology Analyst at Ovum points to developers as the key catalyst in taking smart cities to the next level and driving the market.

“The smart city market is at a tipping point,” says Joe Dignan. “Having been led by IT industry stalwarts such as IBM and Cisco for the last five years, it needs a fresh injection of ideas to take it to the next level. We believe the developer community will add the required impetus.

“Developers are key actors in the smart city debate for three main reasons. Firstly, unlike the IT industry, they can live with the 5-10 years ROI models inherent in smart city. Secondly their physical infrastructures enables them to work at the junction between the key smart city metrics of sustainability, quality of life, and competitiveness. Finally, developers have years of project financing experience, and a comprehensive understanding of the financial instruments required.

“Although developers and the IT industry have always had common interests, the “smart” part of smart cities assumes an unprecedented level of IT technology. So, while developers embrace complexity through their master planning skills, they need to understand the new IT paradigms of cloud, Internet of Things, Big Data, and “bring your own device”, thus bringing this new model for strategic partnering for smart cities to the fore, led by developers.”

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