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HDS’ Social Innovation business to support smart cities

Nurdianah Md Nur | March 16, 2016
The initiative aims to leverage HDS’ solutions to address critical business and societal challenges, says Hu Yoshida, HDS' CTO.

hu Yoshida of HDS

The rapid pace of change is creating unprecedented global challenges - from mass urbanisation to rising infrastructure demands. With this is mind, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) included Social Innovation as part of its business strategy. This move saw HDS leveraging its data infrastructure technologies and smart analytics software to develop purpose-built solutions that address critical business and societal challenges.

Hu Yoshida, HDS' Chief Technology Officer, shares more about the Social Innovation strategy, and how it will support the needs of smart cities.

How does being a smart city benefit Asian cities?
Approximately 50 percent of the world's population, Internet users and mobile users reside in the Asia Pacific region, and almost half of the world's mega cities reside there. Mega cities are defined as cities with 10 million people or more. Sixty percent of the world's population live here, and by 2050, it is expected that 70 percent of the world's population will reside in cities.

Besides that, Asia is facing a declining birth rate from 5.4 percent in 1970 to 2.2 percent in 2013, meaning that the population is ageing faster with implications for human services. If we do not provide the smart city infrastructure to support these trends, life in these cities will not be sustainable.

What does it take to make smart cities a reality?
Cities are a network of inter-related subsystems and components. It includes management, governance, infrastructure, and requires the support of public and private stakeholders. Technology is one of the key tools to help make a smart city. In Hitachi, we refer to such tools as the 'Internet of Things that matter' and they include digital telecommunication networks, embedded intelligence, sensors and tags, and software.

Tell me more about Hitachi's Social Innovation strategy. How does it fit into HDS' overall business, as well as support the needs of smart cities?
Social Innovation is the unifying strategy of the Hitachi family of companies. The objective of Social Innovation is to support sustainable businesses and societies by addressing their social, environmental and economic needs through a holistic, balanced and data-driven approach.

At Hitachi, we have not only the ability, but we believe, the obligation to address some of the world's biggest problems. The combination of Hitachi's rich industrial heritage and our deep domain expertise in both operational and information technology enables us to address many of society's most pressing issues, while creating new business opportunities. Social Innovation is often referred to as the Internet of Things. Research firm IDC estimates the IoT market in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) to be a US$583 billion opportunity by 2020.  

Can you share some of the works that you've done with government agencies in APAC to help them achieve their goal of becoming a smart city?

 

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