How smart a city becomes—and which companies will win shares of this booming market—depends on the answer to one question:
How well can you, a private or public sector entity, govern and manage the data on which smart cities will be built?
In our view, successful smart cities are built on seven layers of data governance and management: categories, consent, collection, anonymization, storage, access, and monetization.
This foundation enables fully-realized smart cities with a robust digital ecosystem, built on the city’s own digital platform, in which new products, services, and business models are rapidly innovated and deployed.
A solid foundation of data governance leads to profits for businesses, new revenue streams for government, a more fertile environment for innovation, and better services for residents and local businesses, all in support of sustainable growth.
The more quality data you can integrate, the more value you can create. That's what we call "the golden rule of smart city economics".
Smart city success requires engagement with civic authorities, such as local or federal privacy commissioners, since coordination among the different levels of government is often a top smart city challenge.
Equally critical is rigorous public consultation with residents (through digital and physical open houses and town hall meetings), with smart infrastructure providers (through an industry advisory board), and with external data governance and privacy experts.