This IDC Government Insights Perspective introduces the concept of the "Smart State" and discusses how the state of Illinois, under the combined leadership of Governor Bruce Rauner and CIO Hardik Bhatt, is putting this concept into action. There has been a tremendous focus on Smart Cities in recent years and with good reason. Cities are the economic, social, and political hubs of the world; they contribute the most to the world economy and consume most of the world's resources. People working in U.S. cities contribute up to 90% of the nation's GDP and constitute 83% of the population. But U.S. cities operate with the support and influence of U.S. states, and states have an important triple role to play in the Smart Cities movement. IDC and the state of Illinois have identified this triple role as:
- Transforming state government: States have responsibilities, challenges, and inefficiencies similar to those of many large cities; they need to become more efficient and "smarter" themselves.
- Supporting the development of Smart Cities: States play a major role in supporting the creation of Smart Cities in their jurisdiction through policies and funding.
- Creating smart and connected regional clusters: States can connect Smart Cities within their jurisdiction to create smart and connected regional clusters of economic development.
States that strive to do these things successfully are Smart States.