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Agents of Change: Cisco

Jack Loo | Jan. 28, 2013
Singapore’s IDA unveiled its Infocomm Technology Roadmap outlining nine technology trends that will shape the future. We asked various enterprise IT heavyweights for their perspectives on the Roadmap, and next up, we have networking specialist Cisco.

The sustainability of our cities and communities has been a subject of debate as city planners and governments manage the needs of the existing population while embracing the transformations that shape our society.

An IDC whitepaper sponsored by Cisco on delivering next generation citizen services revealed urbanisation as a trend with largescale, regional migration to larger cities. It is estimated that up to 700 million people will be added to urban populations over the next 10 years globally with the majority of that growth centred in Asia. Cities are expected to grow exponentially with more than 100 cities inhabited by more than one million people by 2025.

Connectivity has become the cornerstone of modern life, as people, communities and services are interacting over various networks. In affluent urban communities, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are replacing the traditional desktop computers and workstations. Connectivity drives innovation, it plays a proactive role in revolutionising the fundamental structure of our communities, creating positive impact on the economy, society and the environment.

In addition, local governing bodies like the Economic Development Board are discussing the need for businesses to adopt technologies that boost energy efficiency. The country has further set targets to reduce its energy intensity by 35 percent in 2030.

Cities of the future will have technology embedded across all critical city management and operational functions, which requires a strong and dynamic infrastructure and network for connectivity across various service delivery platforms. Projects like U-City in Songdo, South Korea and Malaysia's Nusajaya, feature holistic planning that creates an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive ecosystem for citizens and business.

Info-comm technologies create a functional, efficient community - for example, traffic cameras installed on city motorways can relay data that enables the authorities to manage traffic congestion, road repair or accident information directly to motorists via mobile devices or social media channels.

The network has never played a more central role in connecting people, processes and data anytime, anywhere across any device, and we believe that the intelligent network will overcome the challenges of scale, agility, security and resilience. We see more companies considering having a future-proof infrastructure that can adapt to change quickly in a rapidly evolving landscape. This would allow them to maximise business agility and achieve greater competitive advantage, reach and revenue.

The foundation to building an intelligent, connected urban community requires collaboration and synergy between the public and private sectors, with the network as a platform for citizen-centric services. Some of these services include public transportation, public safety and healthcare. Hospitals, for example, could be linked via collaboration tools and high definition video technology to homes, health centres and even medical universities to enable initial diagnostics of patients to be done from home.


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