How to break down silos in smart city ICT infrastructure

Many people say a smart city is a safe city. However, no single device, application, or solution can make a city smarter or safer. The truth is: smart and safe cities achieve transformation by overcoming information, process, and technology silos to enhance current systems and deliver new capabilities and services. To receive these benefits, cities must accommodate diversity among organizations and ICT environments.

So, what does that mean? It means focusing on technologies that can serve as components of a wider information architecture, in addition to their established roles and capabilities. This is instrumental to not only creating smarter cities, but also safer cities.

To achieve safer cities, leaders must create a technology strategy based on a safe city framework that is inclusive, flexible, and transformational – both operationally and technically. What it doesn’t mean is bolting on solutions that increase technical debt because they merely offer work-arounds to today’s problems.

How can a safe city framework break down smart city ICT infrastructure silos?

A safe city framework must offer the flexibility to support solutions that advance capabilities broadly, while being practical enough to implement within a new or existing smart city ICT infrastructure. It breaks down silos by connecting different data, systems, and processes. But how does it do this?

Eliminates fragmentation

Public safety organizations can transform their efforts from reactive to proactive when they are able to view events as part of a bigger picture instead of smaller pieces of information. A key step to achieving this is by eliminating data and process duplication.

The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) deployed a solution to streamline its collection, sharing, and reporting of criminal investigation data, improving its efficiency and effectiveness of criminal case management. Previously, CGIS used redundant data entry methods to manage records, which limited the amount of data readily available and made the reporting process time-consuming and tedious. Now, agents can establish patterns and links with relational database elements, enabling easier identification of possible criminal activity. CGIS has been able to improve productivity, reduce redundant data entry, and provide key metrics to guide decision-making.

Discover how the U.S. Coast Guard aids investigations with Hexagon records management solution. Download the case study.

Supports diverse solutions

Connectivity is an important factor of a safe city framework. Connectivity between sensors, operational technologies, and other IT systems can deliver more effective services, helping to make cities safer.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office in the San Francisco Bay Area of California operates the Marin County Public Safety Communications Center, which serves as the incident management and response hub for multiple public safety agencies in the county. The sheriff’s office leveraged a solution that seamlessly integrated with multiple third-party law enforcement and fire records management systems used by the various county and city agencies. The technology supports the center’s technical and operational needs, while also serving the additional workflows and requirements of multiple response agencies.

Learn how the Marin County Sheriff’s Office deployed Hexagon technologies to support multiple county agencies. Download the case study.

Reduces costs

Time and money are vital resources to public safety organizations, and it’s imperative agencies use these resources efficiently. Many agencies face sporadic funding and spend time duplicating information, which can be a cumbersome task and also limits the uses the data can support.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services implemented a solution to unify the communication between municipal public safety and health organizations in the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. The solution enables the city organizations to share spatial data and a common map, which allows responders to quickly and reliably share information about emergency events, improving response times and providing clearer positioning of incidents. These agencies have also saved time and money by removing redundant data maintenance tasks.

Find out how Edmonton Fire Rescue Services unified the City of Edmonton’s emergency service organizations to improve performance and save time and money. Download the case study.

Next steps

To learn more about safe city frameworks, visit our Safe Cities solution page and see how our framework helps cities and agencies improve operations, increase citywide collaboration, expand stakeholder engagement, and modernize services.

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