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IDC Government Insights: Smart Cities Strategies

The concept of Smart Cities is a construct in which to frame local government transformation. Cities need to transform in order to develop sustainably, improve resilience, meet citizens' rising expectations, and attract investment, new businesses, and talent. This is a complex undertaking, especially when coupled with constrained financial resources, fast-growing populations, and aging (or limited) infrastructure. As a result, Smart City leaders are looking to invest in solutions that provide clear benefits and return on investment. Smart City business issues are driving investment in emerging technologies such as Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and mobile solutions in departments and citywide and often with national government support. Smart City solutions leverage ICT not only to deliver higher-quality services more efficiently but also to realize significant operational cost savings and effect behavior change in government workers, city businesses, and the community. IDC helps city leaders manage this complexity, and reduce risks and costs, by ensuring investments are tied to measurable benefits and use best practices for more successful implementations. IDC Government Insights' Smart Cities Strategies research analyzes the role of ICT in improving services delivery in public safety, transportation, and public works; in fostering innovation and civic engagement; and in building successful business models for the evolution of a Smart City. IDC Government Insights' global team of analysts provides best practice case studies and objective third-party assessments of Smart City solution providers.


The Smart Cities Strategies research advisory service analyzes how cities, counties, and state and national governments, along with a broad ecosystem of partners, are leveraging technology to improve urban operations and better serve residents and the community. The continuing evolution of cities along IDC's Smart City Maturity Model, the creation of new partnerships and funding models, and the use of innovative technologies to create Smart City ecosystems are covered in detail.

Topics Addressed

Throughout the year, this service will address the following topics:

  • Digital transformation in over 40 high-priority use cases which IDC tracks as emerging funded projects in Smart Cities. These use cases are organized in five strategic priorities: economic development and civic engagement, sustainable urban planning and administration, data-driven public safety, intelligent transportation, and resilient energy and infrastructure.
  • Benchmarking and analysis of global cities using the IDC Smart City MaturityScape
  • The use of emerging technologies in cities — cloud, Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things, mobile apps, blockchain, Smart City platforms, Gigabit Cities, and visual analytic — as well as disruptive service models such as the sharing economy and crowdsourced services
  • Vendor capabilities and offerings in the Smart City use cases including an IDC MarketScape analysis of the leading integrators and operational technology providers worldwide

Key Questions Answered

Our research addresses the following issues that are critical to your success:

  • Which cities are evolving and implementing Smart City strategies, and what are the best practices and critical success factors?
  • What policies and governance are driving collaborative investments, and how will they influence Smart City development in the years ahead? How are effective Smart City initiatives formed and funded, and what group(s) should participate in and/or oversee these initiatives?
  • Which innovative technology initiatives are causing significant shifts in the ways local and regional governments conduct business and provide services? How are risk, innovation, and transformation managed?
  • Which are the ICT solution providers that are facilitating Smart City evolution?
  • How are Smart Cities sustained? What are emerging business models? How do cities maintain citizen engagement in the projects and maintain sustainable behaviors?

Who Should Subscribe

Government ICT and business planners, technology buyers, and program leaders who are seeking to understand how to strategically invest in and deliver technologies and solutions to create Smart City ecosystems.

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Related Links

Meet the Experts

Alison Brooks, Ph.D. Research Director, Smart Cities Strategies, Public Safety
Mark Zannoni Research Director
Ruthbea Yesner Vice President, Government Insights and Smart Cities