Smart: ‘cities’ & ‘business’

By November 18, 2014 No Comments

Smart: ‘cities’ & ‘business’

  • Smart citizens, smart grids, smart water, smart … Lately it’s full of terms that start with Smart. But what is behind all this?


Smart Cities

The concept Smart City is nothing more than a new paradigm of how to manage our cities and regions, putting first the concepts of efficiency and sustainability (economic, ecological and social), and focusing all the actions on the true recipient of the same : the citizen. It is no use to make a city more intelligent if only the internal management of the same corporation is improved. It is a part, but it is more a means than a unique end in itself.

And it seems that we are beginning to take advantage of it. A good example is the holistic vision that the city of Barcelona has of the new paradigm, thinking more about the fact that it is a transforming concept of the city in 20-30 years, than a set of projects and initiatives seen but not Aligned with a determined strategy. And the most immediate results are the numerous awards they have already received for their “Smart” initiatives (iCapital, Big Bloomberg Challenges, etc.) and their leading positions in different “Smart” rankings, to be highlighted among others 4th European and 10th World FastCo . Exists 2013.

We could put more examples of cities, but it is not the objective of the article. A final consideration around cities: those cities that already have actions ordered under a solid Smart City strategy should take the next step, the step that will really put and make it clear to the citizen that he is the center of all actions .

This next step will be the Social Smart City, which also promotes more citizen participation, more services to the citizen, more urban quality and life and more transparency. These will be the new axes that will transform the Smart Cities into Social Smart Cities.

Smart Business

What is really a territory to explore and therefore with a route yet unknown and at the same time very sweet, is the concept of Smart Business.

How can we do business with Smart concepts? “Where is the money?”

There is a typology that is clearly already doing it: suppliers of hardware and software to be able to implement infrastructure solutions as a basis for building Smart projects. I mean sensor companies, data processing centers to the cloud, vertical platforms that manage these solutions …

But these types of companies need a strong public internal demand and at present it is not very high in the local market. This typology of companies are doing more business outside our territory than here. It is a clear case that internationalization is the key to being able to survive, also in this emerging new sector. We could say that they are a very specialized case that was born with / to cover this new demand.

So, What do the most traditional companies, those that carry more inertia, more experience in their current niches? Can we take advantage of all Smart? Is there really a Smart business

Yes and no. It only exists for those companies that, having a very expert knowledge in their current market niche, are able to make an evolution and transformation of their businesses to respond to new and innovative needs around Smart concepts, in short, A Smart Business Transformation.

And this Smart Business Transformation has two aspects: in and out.

Inward means to detect those elements of the value chain of the company that can be made “Smart” to make the company more efficient.

To the outside means take advantage of the knowledge and the internal competences, aligning them with Smart opportunities and offering Smart products / services. But it’s not enough. In a later article I will explain in more detail these two concepts and why it is not enough alone with this.

I will end the article with a few questions and answers that I hope will coincide with the synthesis of what I have intended to communicate.

  • Is there a Smart Business? Definitely yes.
  • Should the strategy and tactics for profit be different for each company? Yes.
  • Will the level of utilization differ for companies? Yes.
  • Is it a path full of new challenges and opportunities? Yes.

Companies, cities: our customers and citizens are SMART !!! What are you waiting for? Welcome to the new Smart World!

18 / 11 / 2014

About the author

Pedro Lisbona

Partner – Director at Doxa Innova & Smart

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