Orient Magazine Issue 81 - April 2021 - Page 62


Let ' s Discuss ... How will Digital Transformation Shape the Cities of the Future ?

Contributed by Stuart Pearce of the Information & Communications Technology Committee
Digital transformation is an influential factor in Smart City and other developments and is therefore essential to understand for any city looking to evolve to the next level of living . This article continues the ongoing series of informative pieces provided by the ICT Committee .
The concept of ‘ digital transformation ’ is largely thought to be shrouded in mystery , where the privilege of knowing and understanding is reserved for the industry giants who shape the future . However , digital transformation is an influential factor in Smart City and other developments and is therefore essential to understand for any city looking to evolve to the next level of living .
Digital transformation is simply put , the process whereby businesses or cities embrace digital platforms and practices . The digital transformation process is often adopted and implemented by companies looking to leverage the power of information and communication technologies ( ICT ) throughout every level of their businesses . Embracing digital transformation is a key to success in the modern landscape of business practices as it allows for business fluidity and adaptability in preparation for future obstacles . By utilising the power of these technology platforms and digital practices , companies give themselves the tools needed for success in the modern age . Digital transformation therefore allows businesses to prevent a stagnation in their digital approach and adopt dynamic and innovative solutions .
The word innovation is frequently thrown about when describing “ this or that product ”, to the point where its true meaning has become clouded and confused . True innovation means finding intelligent and dynamic solutions to complicated problems , in many cases problems that many were unaware existed . Innovation can change the world and often has ; it is a key element in successful digital transformation . To us , its meaning is clear and a mantra to our business practices . Creating something new , something that is impactful . Applying powerful data solutions in conjunction with digital transformation allows for the seamless integration of technology platforms and digital practices into a development and often will determine its success .
How does digital transformation make an ordinary city , smart ? Across the globe , smart cities have been growing in number and popularity becoming the ideal place for people to live and work . Despite their increasing number , there is no standard set of rules or guidelines that form a concise definition of what a smart city requires , but there is a common thread . Every smart city has achieved its status by introducing ICT to enhance the quality and performance of urban services to achieve a higher quality lifestyle for residents .
The range of technologies that could potentially be used to achieve this goal are countless , but if the technology used meets the demands of citizens , encouraging community involvement and integration with their city digital transformation can be considered success . Factors that might be addressed in the digital transformation of a city may include a human-centric approach , driving intuitive processes and machine learning , a move from CapEX to OpEx , solutions to increase citizen engagement , decentralizing control , increasing government transparency , increasing public safety , improving the availability of transportation and sanitation services and finally focusing on generating revenue .