When we grade technology initiatives on the basis of real benefits to people there is a natural tendency to concentrate on what the tech delivers today and what level of convenience is offers to us as individuals.
We can claim that we value the smart phone because it provides us with a means for communication and delivery of information in the event of an emergency. That sounds good, but let's admit that the benefits we most care about are the multiple ways it allows us to connect with friends, family, and business associates. Then there are factors such as games and entertainment, and easy access to news and trivia.
We simply love our phones.
However, when it comes to the raw potential for delivering real benefits to a massive number of people, you have to think about smart city initiatives.
Consider how even a single project in a smart city strategy can deliver a life-altering benefit to a few million people, even those who aren't using the technology themselves.
Think in terms of healthcare, urban transportion, delivery of electrical service, improved housing, and food.
We will be discussing the potential for smart cities on All Analytics Radio this Thursday at 2 pm ET, when my guest will be Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence for the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).
CompTIA recently completed a report on smart cities, looking at where progress has been made, but also evaluating the interest the municipal officials around the globe have expressed in implementing technologies such as analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities.
While only a fraction of cities surveyed by CompTIA (11%) have formal IoT initiatives underway at this point, 25% have pilot projects in place, and three out of four have more favorable impressions of the IoT today versus two years ago.
There's plenty of interest in smart cities, and plenty of potential.