The Future of Smart City Platforms
Smart Cities really means the future of networked computing and citizen information interactions and services delivery. It will require a remarkably agile platform that could comfortably scale to millions of nodes—some of them hardware, some software, some purely data, many of them coming into and out of existence or changing location constantly. Obviously, such a platform cannot be “designed” in any ordinary sense. Certainly, it cannot be designed “top-down.” And yet Smart City systems and applications must be designed in some sense. The tools we are working with today to make cities “smart” were not designed to handle the diversity of devices, the scope of interactions and the massive volume of data-points and interactions generated. Each new application, use case and diverse devices to enable them requires too much customization and maintenance just to perform basic tasks. These challenges are diluting the ability of public and private organizations to efficiently and effectively manage development. Today, platforms for Smart Cities are still a collection of yesterday’s technology and architectures that do not address the most basic development challenges.
Glen Allmendinger is the founder and President of Harbor Research, a strategy consulting and technology research firm based in Boulder Colorado and Zurich Switzerland. Glen has been responsible for managing Harbor and all of its consulting and research activities since its inception in 1983 and co-authored “Four Strategies for The Age Of Smart Services,” Harvard Business Review, October 2005.
Harbor Research Inc. has been providing strategic consulting and research services to leaders in communications, computing, control, and content since 1983. Harbor is organized around emergent and disruptive opportunities in high technology, with a unique focus on the impact of the Internet of Things and Smart Services—the use of the Internet to accomplish global device and sensor networking that will revolutionize business by unleashing entirely new modes of system optimization, customer relationships, and service delivery.
Glen has consulted to a broad spectrum of global computing, communications, electronics, and software suppliers as well as diversified product manufacturers, assisting them in the development of corporate strategies, new product, market and service opportunities, and new core capabilities. He has worked with consortia including SEMATECH and professional associations including IEEE, SME and ISA and has served on the boards of over a dozen technology ventures.
He was a key participant in the development of the National Centre for Manufacturing Sciences and has consulted to the National Research Council on technology and competitiveness. Glen has also authored thought leading articles for a wide range of publications including The Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal as well as being a frequent speaker in industry and public policy forums.
Prior to founding Harbor, Glen was an award-winning filmmaker, a technology analyst for the Yankee Group, and a consultant with State Street Consultants in Boston. He received his bachelors degree from New York University, and did graduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).