IDC releases smart cities predictions for 2013


IDC Government Insights has revealed its first annual “Worldwide Smart City 2013 Top 10 Predictions,” highlighting market predictions for the year ahead. As CivSource has reported, IDC is moving into the Smart Cities research space with a new slate of offerings for 2013, as more cities look for ways to streamline and improve services through technology. This list marks one of the first such offerings and looks at the ten big topic areas cities are examining for smart growth.

“This worldwide set of Smart City predictions is a list of prioritized business drivers and technology trends that we believe will shape the local government IT landscape in the context of an economically and socially challenging 2013 time. Our goal is to emphasize the events that are reshaping the ways cities operate and require the city leaders to make smart, and sometimes very difficult, decisions,” says Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, research director, Smart Cities Strategies, IDC Government Insights.

According to the predictions report, smart cities budget is likely to continue flowing into energy, transportation and public safety as municipalities work out the kinks on low hanging fruit, like phasing in hybrid buses. Data shows that approximately half of those initiatives will be initiated at the line-of-business or city-function level.

Notably, the organization predicts worldwide spending on smart water solutions will reach $1.8 billion this year alone.

Much of the rest of the work on smart cities will come in the form of big and open data projects, with much of that growth being driven by cities that already have initiatives underway. (See our previous reporting on developments in Philadelphia and Boston for examples)

New programs will have mobile as a growing component and focus in on public-private-partnerships or risk-reward-sharing partnerships in order to find sustainable funding models as budget sizes are unlikely to increase in the foreseeable future. For technology companies involved in these initiatives, IDC predicts at least three more Tier 1 global ICT vendors will come to market with a branded smart city solution, competing against existing players like IBM and Siemens.