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Smart Cities Garner Optimism, But Challenges Remain

Government agencies across the U.S. and around the world are making progress as they experiment with a new generation of smart-city technologies that improve efficiencies, expand services, and reduce costs. While the concept of “smart cities” holds tremendous potential, many challenges remain. A new report titled, “Building Smarter Cities and Communities,” from technology association CompTIA provides interesting insights.

CompTIA researchers surveyed 350 government officials and found that nearly three-quarters of them have a positive view of smart city developments.

Anticipated benefits of smart city solutions include cost savings from operational efficiencies; optimizing use of resources; improved government services and interaction for citizens; better stream of data to improve decision-making; and the opportunity to attract tech-savvy workers and businesses.

“The government officials we surveyed have a strong interest in using smart city projects to deliver direct benefits to their citizens and business communities,” said Liz Hyman, who serves as CompTIA executive vice president, with a focus on public advocacy.

More Funding and Expertise Needed

Funding challenges are the number one concern for government officials considering smart-city projects. CompTIA noted that, “Most government entities have little wiggle room within budgets to shift funds from critical government services to investments in new areas, such as smart cities.”

But money isn’t the only problem. Cybersecurity related to smart cities is another top concern, and perhaps even more difficult to overcome.

Calling cybersecurity “mission critical” for any successful smart-city initiative, Hyman explained: “Our nation’s smart-cities initiatives will require a new contingent of cyber workers. We must ensure that both private and public entities are deploying policies and initiatives that provide the supply of IT workers to meet the soaring demand.”

In fact, CompTIA found that 40 percent of government officials and personnel cite “skills gaps and a lack of necessary expertise” as a primary area of concern affecting the expansion of smart…


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