IDC Government Insights Fosters Smart City Development with New Smart City Framework

FRAMINGHAM, MA, April 26, 2012 – IDC Government Insights today unveiled Smart City Framework to define the key processes needed to create a Smart City and critical factors to enabling a Smart City, to help Mayors and other city leaders embark on their Smart City development journey. To date, varying definitions of what a Smart City is, and the complexity of smart solutions have made it difficult for city leaders to know where to begin in their smart city planning. The new report, Business Strategy: Smart City Strategies ‒ IDC Government Insights' Smart City Framework (Document # GI234160), provides a framework for conceptualizing what a Smart City is in concrete terms, the drivers of Smart City growth, key technologies and process in Smart City solutions, and detailed guidance for both city leaders and vendors.

The last few years in technology advancement have helped create the right environment for smart city solutions – pervasive wireless and broadband connections, advanced analytics software, intelligent sensors, the profusion of mobile devices and the use of social media can be integrated by vendors to provide solutions for city governments. Smart cities will become the city of the future and businesses, workers, tourists, as well as cultural and sporting event planners, will migrate to these cities as they will be more livable, efficient, and provide superior citizen services.

According to IDC Government Insights, a Smart City is defined as is a finite unit or entity with its own governing authority that is more local than the federal or national level and uses a specific set of technologies to achieve the explicit goal of improving the lives of its citizens through sustainable development. Smart City solutions are models for leveraging IT not only to deliver higher quality citizen services more efficiently, but also to affect behavior change in government workers, city businesses, and citizens so cities can develop more sustainably.

A city is a financial, commercial, social and cultural hub and an ecosystem of infrastructure and citizen services defined as “domains” by IDC Government Insights including:

• Public Safety

• Transportation

• Citizen Services

• Education

• Energy

• Water

• Buildings

• Healthcare

Currently, most cities are deploying, or have deployed, a smart solution in one or two domains. The solutions are still siloed from each other, mimicking the way most government departments operate. Ultimately, IDC Government Insights believes that as cities mature in their thinking about smart solutions and city management, more cities will look to integrate different domains into one central command or operation center to provide a comprehensive city view and generate optimal responses based on integrated data from multiple domains.

Based on the new report, to become a Smart City, a city must have an explicit Smart City mission statement around sustainable urban development and specific citizen quality of life issues. Departments initiating Smart City solutions should also have mission statements with specific goals regarding a more sustainable and livable urban environments and improved services. Examples of goals could include using smart technologies to reduce crime, carbon emissions, benefits fraud, or traffic congestion. The most successful implementations will engage citizens and private entities to define strategic direction, city priorities, and create a technology roadmap.

"City leaders are looking to invest in Smart City solutions to leverage their existing IT, data, and human resources more effectively, and provide better services to citizens. Vendors are rapidly reorganizing around Smart City services offerings, and in this context, IDC Government Insights has provided a framework document for understanding Smart City solutions," states Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, research director, IDC Government Insights. "IDC Government Insights believes Smart Cities are the city of the future. Those cities that fail to start the smart city journey now will be left behind in terms of attractiveness to investors and residents."

For additional information about this study, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact; reporters should email

About IDC Government Insights

IDC Government Insights assists government policy, program, and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of government and IT industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the Federal/Central and local/provincial Governments. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 703-485-8300. Visit the IDC Government Insights Community at