Smart Cities: The Partnership Ecosystem
30th November 2021

What is a Smart City anyway and why should I care?

 Within the Smart City space, organisations need to understand the broad fabric that makes a city “Smart”. Depending on who you talk to, the term Smart City will mean different things – and that is just fine! As we evolve technologically and organisationally on a maturity scale, our individual definition makes sense to our situation. This however all needs to be a part of a collective fabric and connected ecosystem. In a city, there are hundreds, if not thousands of processes and systems that exist in this ecosystem. These proverbial dots must be understood, connected, and automated… That is the opportunity.  
Think about all the processes, technology, and people within different industry sectors. There are government, private sector (such as utilities, community groups, healthcare, and construction) and end users (residents, tourists, students, and business operators.) This is a vast landscape to grasp. Everything from electric vehicles and bio-fuel storage to infrastructure and multi energy stations. The changes to our everyday lives will continue to shape and fundamentally transform entire industries.  

The Partnership Ecosystem

In the sense of a partnered ecosystem, all contributing technology solutions that deliver constituent outcomes need to meet the following requirements (and likely more).   
·         Easy integration and interoperability; 
·         Scalability of solutions to reach all constituents; 
·         Ubiquitous security and privacy; 
·         High reliability across the landscape; 
·         Easy to adapt to changes; 
·         Self-healing  capabilities; 
·         Low latency, rapid response times; and 
·         Highly levels of automation. 
The playing field needs to be leveled and ideally not dominated by a small handful of large multinational technology giants.  There must be a low barrier to entry for partners, driving towards open and transparent participation that drives innovation that can be tested and implemented safely.   We must all know and own our place, our “why”, our unique value propositions and our right to compete. 

What plan can we develop to get involved?

As Simon Sinek said, start with “why” and what differentiates you from your competitors. Understand your “right to compete”.  Build this into your vision, strategy and road map to illustrate your positioning. 
Plan your partner landscape. Are you an infrastructure, software, physical, construction (etc) player?  Understand your enablers to play in an ecosystem. 

1. Visualise your ecosystem.  How do you all connect and leverage each other’s strengths to combine and conquer? 
2. Understand the skills and expertise your organisation needs to develop in this space – drive capability uplift. Do not always rely on how it had been done before. 
3. Build your innovation model by either building in-house or partnering. This will quarantine your niche in the ecosystem – communicate that with your partners. 
4. Consider your connectivity, data requirement, security and privacy considerations. How are you going to address these important considerations? 
5. Understand the “voice of your customer”. Anticipate their needs and add your value into their hands.  Everything you do is for your customers. 
6. Create market awareness.  Make some noise!  
7. Find a friendly and safe pilot site to prove your value.  Measure the value.  Extrapolate that value and ensure your pricing is aligned to it. 
8. Sell, sell, sell! Direct, channels, partners. 

How do I deliver this?

To successfully deliver our SMART project outcomes, the focus needs to be concentrated on timely execution and building out target state alignment and capabilities. 
According to a study by Geneca, 75% of respondents in the IT industry lack confidence in project success. Therefore, it is critical to have a concise mission in our organisations to support our customers and partners by reducing the cost and risk of these transformation initiatives. Success comes from implementing strategic objectives through aligned incremental transformational delivery outcomes. To reduce the number of failing projects, you need a delivery model to support major transformation implementations. 
A well-developed strategy requires more than just great minds- it needs a mature capability model. This model provides the structure required to generate strategic outcomes by delivering the structure to develop the necessary portfolio of programs and projects. This model must align all parties involved so that they understand the strategy. As well as this, it must facilitate a well-planned journey to ensure that the required value is delivered as was initially envisaged. 

Where do we come in?

Avec aligns its implementation approach to an Agile oriented delivery methodology. Incorporating Scrum techniques and tools, we implement and deliver an organisation’s solutions.  
Successful implementation will be dependent on a range of factors including the coordination of concurrent activities, as well as the consideration of risk and cost factors to provide minimal disruption to on-going business.   
Our proven approach manages scope through prioritisation and ensures stakeholders are ready to adopt the new solution, and that your system design is coordinated to deliver on time and in budget.  Our accelerated delivery approach maintains a structured process for identifying, documenting, tracking, and managing the negative consequences of project risks throughout the lifecycle of the project. 
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