With populations rising and more people relying on the city services they can access, smart cities are being developed and rolled out across the world to make the most out of limited resources that are only getting more expensive.
These smart cities are developed with several goals in mind. These goals are built on a foundation of improving the lives of citizens. They are getting investments from those who understand the potential solving urban problems with technology holds. They see how smart cities allow for the interpretation and monetization of city assets. Thanks to advanced networks that are able to translate and hold large amounts of data and sensors that generate this data becoming an integral part of many industries, cities are able to monitor just about everything including traffic flows, energy usage, water levels, and security cameras. They can use the information to do things such as find potholes, navigate residents through traffic, and help residents vote.
While monetization of a smart city initiative is not always the main objective, it should nevertheless be a part of the program. Cities are already monetizing services, whether directly or through strategic partnerships. Things such as parking and water are monetized. Users paying for services is an important part of the funding a city has to play with. The data from sensors can help to charge citizens for only as much as they use, and it can bring greater value to citizens because of that.
How will it all play out for a smart city? Citizens are able to benefit directly from lifestyle offers which add some extra value to their daily lives. One example would be a bundle for parking and recharging cars. The person can request a space through an app, being charged for finding and reserving a parking space ahead of time. They could be charged a premium amount for a particularly good location, and be charged a small fee for monitoring of their car, with an optional fee to recharge the car battery in the space.
Another example is one that would benefit both private enterprises and the city as a whole; replacing toll roads with “toll routes” and creating recommended paths for large vehicles so that they can pass through the city faster – for a fee – thereby reducing emissions, traffic congestion, fuel consumption, and time.
These value-added services are offered to consumers through a monetization overlay that accounts for the massive amounts of microtransactions generated by the sensors. Organizations, whether it be the city itself or other organizations within the value chain, need to be able to handle data collection, mediation and analysis processes to properly invoice users and handle supplier settlements on a large scale.
In order to mitigate the cost and risk of these monetization overlays, city planners and partners should leverage cloud-based digital enablement platforms that are able to get the job done for less. They also expedite the process and get the infrastructure to market faster and provide access to a wide range of smart city services. Cloud-based platforms offer functionality as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) with regular updates as needed to meet the newest standards and stay on the cutting edge of technology. Integrating with cloud-based activation, provisioning, and analysis solutions lays the foundation for the smart city consumer experience.
There’s never been a better time for city planners to consider making a smart city initiative part of the appeal for digitally-savvy consumers. Having a monetization strategy in place with the initiative means that any current revenue sources are improved upon. It opens the door to exciting new ways to fund city initiatives, including the implementation of the smart infrastructure itself.