LONDON, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently, global technology leaders Steve Evans, Vice President of Emerging Technologies at CGI and Dan Byles, Chief Commercial Officer at UnifAI Technology, met to discuss the key challenges facing global smart cities at the KPMG Connected Cities Conference in Hong Kong.
Joining virtually, Byles and Evans kicked off discussions by acknowledging that smart cities are no longer new, but rather feel more achievable and actionable now that technology has begun to catch up with the initial vision. Despite this, both leaders also agreed that the greatest challenge still facing the evolution of smart cities is siloed infrastructure and thinking.
Speaking on siloes, Byles said: "The challenge we need to overcome is how do you breakdown siloed ways of delivering infrastructure and services to make them more integrated, while at the same time, making them more digital to deliver increasingly sustainable infrastructure and better services for citizens.
"Technology and digital transformation undercut every sector. A good example of this is something like budgets and budgetary siloes. Let's take air quality, if you want to improve the air quality of a city, the cost will likely fall on the transport or energy sectors. The benefits, however, are more likely to fall in your healthcare sector."
Discussions also examined how technology solutions have evolved to meet smart city requirements. On this subject, Evans commented: "We are seeing organisations that have started the journey in fairly modest but impactful areas that are now starting to scale and really draw on front-end technology solutions that are unlocking really new ways of doing things.
"For us, we are very excited about the compute on edge growth globally and across different sectors. It's debunking the need for high powered communication technologies, and different technology, such as compute on edge and the likes of AI and Machine learning, are changing how we use and look at data and unlock decision making."
Importantly, both technology leaders also discussed the vital link between smart cities and sustainability. Both leaders agree that to truly drive value from smart cities, sustainability must sit at the core. This need and focus is also seeing an increased demand for Chief Sustainability Officers on boards across the globe.
On final comments, Evans concluded: "Scalability is key, making sure we can actually truly scale our vision. But importantly start on the journey, get working on those proof of concepts and making it happen."
Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world. With 77,000 consultants and other professionals across the globe, CGI delivers an end-to-end portfolio of capabilities, from strategic IT and business consulting to systems integration, managed IT and business process services and intellectual property solutions. CGI works with clients through a local relationship model complemented by a global delivery network that helps clients digitally transform their organizations and accelerate results. CGI Fiscal 2020 reported revenue is C$12.16 billion and CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). Learn more at cgi.com.