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The Year of Open Data

The coming year will see open data strategy as a focal point for businesses and the public sector. The emphasis will shift from how it is collected to how it is analysed and visualised with more tools becoming available to facilitate its effective use, 

To try and create better informed policy, The UK has began to open up data in response to our ageing and increasing population (71million in the next 15 years) allowing innovative start ups to create solutions to meet these evolving challenges. One such company has uncovered a way of potentially saving £200 million a year (essentially by replacing prescribed branded medicine with generic products, read more here) simply by analysing prescription records of every family doctors’ in the U.K, without revealing patients identity. Such an approach is likely to gather momentum in the coming 12 months and beyond.

Read here for more examples

The Internet of Things grows to become the Internet of Everything

Our increased enthusiasm for data means that the Internet of Things will grow at pace in 2015. By 2020 we will see 26 billion connected devices. (more than x3 the population), the IoT will be worth $7.1 trillion (up from $1.9 trillion currently) and how we get there will be greatly informed by the next 12 months.

It will be iterative, messy with lots of trial and error. But it will bring fantastic new devices and products to market. Wearables will boost progress in this area and an ‘always on’ expectation from the consumer will arise. By default a broader integration of services will be incorporated into the next wave of devices.

2015 will see U.K cities become a hub for innovation with IoT providing the conduit. A nationwide IoT network in partnership with Arqiva is going to see several pilots trialled including smart parking, early flood warning systems, CCTV crime surveillance software and sensors in public bins and toilets to alert authorities to what action needs completed.

The Internet of Everything will be the result of this synergy between data, products and human interactions. A connected world for connected people.

See here for examples.

Decentralisation of Power

And 2015 will be imbued with a sense of autonomy to invigorate these developments.

In the new year there will be a shift towards decentralisation of powers to U.K's cities. Cities will have more financial responsibilities and will be required to establish effective leadership and governance structures. 

Manchester have already agreed a £1 billion ‘deal’ with Whitehall, with Sheffield and Leeds having similar arrangements imminent. The recent referendum in Scotland has accelerated the discourse in this area and calls for more powers to the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Executive are being explored as well as more fiscal accountability for the City of London. The cat is out of the bag!

Such devolution will result in more accountability being transferred to cities, and the emergence of visionary and inspiring leaders will be crucial if cities are to realise the possibilities that being 'Smart' entails. As was the case in the mayoral election in Chicago of 2011 where Mayor Emanuel has since overseen the city stake its claim as Smart City leader, from a position described as 'a little behind our peers' 3 short years ago. Such progress is possible in the U.K as this type of leadership emerges.

In true Smart City style, our 2015 predictions are not siloed. They all interconnect and by focusing on the integration of peopletechnology and data to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for everyone.

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