At the Pinnacle of Smart City Aspirations
By Peter Auhl, CIO, City of Adelaide
A delaide is an amazing, beautiful and unique city. The fifth most livable city in world showcases an amazing blend of fantastic experiences for people of all ages. A world recognized festival destination, a UNESCO Live Music City and a vibrant art culture. Relatively affordable, there are significantly lesser concerns regarding traffic congestion and pollution often associated with a city this size. The critical factor that makes the city unique is the perfect balance of technology and culture that goes hand in hand with citizens participating in the global economic reawakening of the city. Along with a contemporary infrastructure, the capital city council’s approach of putting people at the centre of new 21st century technology and offering ‘government as a platform’ has attracted global interest and a rating as one of the world’s Top21 Smart Cities. Council’s bold strategic plan revolves around four key themes making the City of Adelaide Smart, Green, Livable and Creative.
Joining the City of Adelaide almost three years ago, I was employed to develop a world class IM strategy to support council’s ambition to advance Adelaide into a truly integrated smart city. Since then we have focused on creating an environment, where internal and external people are in control and have a choice in how they interact with our services and information, in a way that achieves the best possible outcome for themselves and their customers.
The City of Adelaide’s digital strategy is simple; a smart city starts from a smart organization and people are at the center of all that we do.
An integral part of achieving all the key factors of a smart city is a reliable technological platform. However, it’s not just the availability of technology but how its accessed and applied that determines the success of a smart city initiative.
We quickly recognized the importance of infrastructure as a key component of our smart city ambitions and we also looked at how this infrastructure could position Adelaide’s economy globally facilitating growth and expansion of existing businesses, bringing new industries to Adelaide and allowing them to participate in the global digital marketplace. “When geography doesn’t matter, IT’S ADELAIDE”. 21st century infrastructure also attracts businesses that rely on the data as a core component of their business model, infact we see that most businesses are heavily reliant on data today, and lots of it...Big Data is the new mantra.
An integral part of achieving all the key factors of a smart city is a reliable technological platform and strong constructive governance
We must therefore ensure Adelaide is one of the most globally connected cities; it makes for a perfect destination for corporates around the globe to establish their presence in our city and connect with the rest of the world. Our Ten Gigabit Adelaide project will be critical in this endeavor, positioning Adelaide and South Australia with a competitive advantage within the global digital economy.
The City of Adelaide is currently very focused on utilizing the power of Big Data and helping customers and business stakeholders be better informed from easy access to ‘free’ open data. A great example of this value is our insights platform which curates information from various sources into a simple to use digital toolkit. This award-winning platform allows stakeholders to make more effective decisions based on evidence. We are looking at ways to further develop this platform to deliver even more value and information to our customers from anywhere in the world, helping them to realize the value Adelaide can offer to their business or themselves. Where ever possible we seek to achieve multiple dividends from a single outcome to ensure we continue to deliver our strategic plan objectives.
The CIOs role has certainly evolved. Following two decades in the ICT industry and more than 12 years as a CIO, I certainly believe that one of the underutilized benefits of a CIO is the role’s ability to work across business portfolios. It presents enormous opportunities to create visibility and highlight opportunities to reform “across an organisation”. I think we have clear visibility of the key issues across the organization and can help articulate business problems and assist develop more strategic solutions.
As a CIO wearing many hats, I am responsible for the day to day operations of our ICT environment, ensuring our organization positions its ICT to adapt to change, mitigate the impacts of the change, and look at strategies that position the City of Adelaide to be Globally competitive.
I am currently involved in a project with the Australian government looking at technology initiatives and policies that can assist the redistribution of economic and population growth. To become a Smart Nation, we need to focus our efforts on the economies of the future and the culture that will be required to support that economy.