A command-and-control centre based on an integrated approach is the key to more cross-functional collaboration and faster, better decision-making by cities, says W. Jarrett Campbell of AVEVA.
Infrastructure provides a critical connection to businesses, communities, people and quality of life on a global scale. It drives economies across the world.
In order to stay competitive, every nation must move people, goods and data efficiently while delivering energy and water resources in a safe, reliable and sustainable manner.
With increasing urbanisation, mounting cost pressures and demand for improved quality of life, there is now a global move towards infrastructure consolidation, upgrade and continuous improvement.
This, coupled with large greenfield capital projects funded by private and public entities, complex energy management, rising operating costs and advancements in technology, means there is now a greater need than ever for:
To accomplish this, infrastructure operators must extend their sights beyond traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitoring real-time operations. They must leverage the latest technological advancements in data, analytics, advanced visualisation and workflow management capabilities to ensure sustainable innovation through digitalisation.
Converting existing infrastructure to smart infrastructure is the key to improving city operations, and it is directly correlated to quality of life improvements
Getting in the way of this vision are several common infrastructure challenges:
Due to rapid urbanisation, many cities have old and ageing infrastructure with high replacement costs. Converting existing infrastructure to smart infrastructure is the key to improving city operations, and it is directly correlated to quality of life improvements.
Some of the drivers for smart cities include:
For smart cities to be efficient, they must be able to connect, collect, analyse and act from disparate data sources.
Firstly, a smart city connects and collects information about itself through sensors, other devices and existing systems. Next, it communicates that data using wired or wireless networks and databases. Thirdly, it analyses that data to understand what is happening now and what is likely to happen next. Finally, it must act based on this intelligence.
A transformative integration approach is required to span across various applications, including facilities management, utilities, telecommunication, transportation, health and e-governance. The most effective approach, then, is to not just connect all these disparate functions but to collect, analyse and then act on unified and holistic intelligence with the help of real-time data.
With smart cities, the objective is to enable city leaders to better serve citizens and businesses. A command and control centre based on an integrated, “system of systems” approach can be used to leverage information from various data sources to anticipate and resolve problems even before they are presented, coordinate various resources and processes to operate seamlessly, and generally make more strategic decisions.
The most effective approach is to collect, analyse and then act on unified and holistic intelligence with the help of real-time data.
In the increasingly complex world of infrastructure, technology is the powerful unifying asset.
The integrated, system of systems approach aims to provide a truly holistic approach to unify disparate and complex system and data challenges.
Doing so provides a centralised infrastructure that supports operations and customer information systems across the entire value chain. Combining information technology and operational technology, and having a system that communicates effectively means:
A system of systems integration approach can break down data silos, promote cross-functional collaboration and optimise the ability of cities to make faster, more informed decisions and speed crisis response.
To further explore this approach to unifying operational command-and-control within a smart city environment, download our whitepaper on transformative integration or read about how this system of systems approach has been applied to India’s first greenfield smart city, Atal Nagar.