Technology is an important piece to the smart city puzzle - indeed a city cannot be truly "smart" without it. Nevertheless, in terms of investments, it may not account for more than 5 per cent of the overall spending Indian cities require.
A new report by management consulting firm Zinnov, announced on Thursday, has some interesting numbers and perspective. Here's a sampling.
- While the overall investments required to build 100 smart cities in India would exceed $31 billion over five years (2015-2020), just over 5 per cent of total spend-$1.5-2 billion-is expected to be spent on technology.
- The estimated $2 billion spending on tech would open up opportunities for hardware, software, and IT services vendors. About $800-900 million could be spent on cloud services, which implies a windfall for cloud vendors, says Rajat Kohli, an Engagement Manager with Zinnov. Cloud solutions will be spread across data centers, cloud-based delivery platforms, analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled solutions.
- Transportation and Power would be the biggest technology spending categories within smart city initiatives followed by Water and Sewage, Governance, and Waste Management. Solutions for power and water would include those that make transmission more efficient and prevent revenue loss.
- Over 60 per cent of the total technology spend would be in Tier-III cities.
- About 45 per cent of the technology spend will be driven three states -- UP, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. These three states have the maximum number of cities in the 100 cities shortlist. Within these states, the Tier-III cities would spend the maximum money.
- The consulting firm also estimates that the development of 100 smart cities would result into $200 billion of additional contribution in the GDP, 10 million jobs and over $10 billion savings in traffic congestion with the help of smarter technology. How is that? Better cities are expected to have a stronger economic thread and fuel consumption of both products and services. The big hope is citizens would also be willing to pay more for a much improved and efficient transportation system, power, water, e-governance, and waste management practices.