IDC releases first smart city maturity model


IDC Government Insights’ has released its first Smart City Maturity Model, which identifies the stages, key measures, results, and actions that are required for cities to effectively move through the stages and progress toward the long-term goal of becoming a smart city. The document, “Assessment and Action on the Path to Maturity,” is designed to serve as a needs assessment for cities to examine their current situation and determine critical capabilities needed to develop a smart city.

The goal is to help city leaders use the maturity model as a tool to develop a common language, improve intra- and inter-group collaboration in defining and executing a smart city strategy, and promote and encourage the use of emerging technologies and smart city solutions. Beyond examining the current needs of a given city, officials will also be able to use the model to set goals and plan for technology, partnership, staffing, and other related investment decisions.

The model is the next phase in IDC’s smart cities and state and local government initiatives. The organization has recently launched several research projects into state and local trends in an effort to provide independent research on state and local government as enterprise systems in order to help public officials plan for the future. Several other vendors like IBM and Siemens are in the space offering technology solutions, over research.

The model provides cities with five stages of maturity and ways to progress to more comprehensive, organized systems. The five stages are:

  • Ad Hoc: This stage is the traditional government modus operandi with ad hoc project, department-based planning and discrete Smart projects.
  • Opportunistic: In this stage, opportunistic project deployments result in proactive collaboration within and between departments. Key stakeholders start to align around developing strategy, common language is developed, and barriers to adoption are identified.
  • Repeatable: In this stage, recurring projects, events and processes are identified for integration. Formal committees document defined strategy, processes, and technology investment needs with stakeholder buy-in. Sustainable funding models and governance issues become a focus.
  • Managed: Formal systems for work/data flows and leveraging technology assets are in place and standards emerge. Performance management based on outcomes shift culture, budgets, IT investment, governance structure to a broader city context.
  • Optimized: A sustainable, city-wide platform is in place. Agile strategy, IT, and governance allows for autonomy within an integrated system of systems and continuous improvements. Superior outcomes deliver differentiation.

Today there is sporadic adoption of smart city solutions across cities, with only a handful of cities worldwide actively in the Opportunistic or Repeatable implementation stage. Most cities are focused on researching and evaluating use cases and vendor capabilities along with defining their vision of a smart city and identifying barriers to adoption.