Open data platform drives citizen innovations and new digital revenue
Smart City innovations in the Middle East will support the global Big Data market which will grow to a record high of USD 7 trillion by 2021 – the digital transformation enabler Hitachi Data Systems announced ahead of the GITEX Technology Week.
The Middle East is pouring investment into Smart Cities to enhance government efficiency and citizen services, tied to digital transformation initiatives such as Dubai Smart City and UAE Vision 2021, Saudi Vision 2030, and New Kuwait Vision 2035.
Smart Cities are leveraging connected sensors, devices, and social media in the Internet of Things era, which will see 28 billion connected devices creating a USD 7 trillion Big Data market opportunity, according to a recent report by Forbes Insights.
Tom Pegrume, Vice President of Emerging Markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Hitachi Data Systems, said: “Middle East Smart Cities saw an initial rush of excitement five years ago, and are now shifting from installing the technology infrastructure to an era to Big Data analytics, gaining new insights that can enhance operational efficiencies and quality of life across transport, healthcare, and energy.”
Central to Smart City success is for governments to adopt an open data platform, which shares citywide data on a single platform. Bold governments worldwide have in turn monetised this platform, with a City Data Exchange that charges for organisations and developers to access and use the data.
“The biggest challenge facing Middle East Smart City leaders is breaking down barriers to share data between the public, private, and academic sectors. Smart City leaders also need to upskill staff to become data scientists and app developers to analyse city data to drive social innovation and new digital revenue streams,” added Pegrume.
In particular, Pegrume recommended for Smart Cities to deploy quick projects to show quick ROI, such as reducing utilities leakage with sensors, reducing traffic by supporting autonomous vehicles, and digitising patient records to enhance patient care.
Across the Middle East, Hitachi Data Systems is seeing strong demand for the Hitachi Virtualisation solution, which connects disparate data on a single platform and then delivers real-time map-based visualisation and analytic insights for better decisions.