Powering Digital Transformation in Municipal Government with Cisco Technology

Faced by the challenge of providing public services that keep their city safe, clean, and vibrant within the constraints of a tight budget, many municipalities are turning to technology to help them meet the ever-evolving expectations of city residents and visitors. From fighting crime and managing traffic, to cutting costs, simplifying maintenance, and generating new revenue streams, a digital transformation can help municipal governments be more be responsive, effective, and efficient in fulfilling their responsibilities.

Cisco is at the forefront of powering digital transformations designed to help municipal governments stay connected with their constituents and make their cities more livable. Cisco technology enables city governments to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, and enhance citizen services. Cisco offers a range of solutions to support smart initiatives that cities can implement to improve the quality of life, security, and the economy of their community. Cisco technology empowers city governments to transform their processes, implement secure architecture, and deliver visionary solutions.

Operational Efficiencies

One of the biggest benefits cities can realize from digital transformation is operational efficiency. From network outages to lost data to dropped calls, underfunded and outdated infrastructure creates inefficiencies. Municipalities bogged down by outdated, underperforming technology may be spending more time and money keeping their legacy systems operational than they would to upgrade them. Replacing or modernizing underperforming unreliable systems that are vulnerable to cyberthreats, lack the capacity to run advanced applications, and are time-consuming to manage, with industry-leading Cisco technology can create a more secure environment and streamline government operations.

Cisco knows that improving operational efficiency is an ongoing process. They offer a broad portfolio of robust network infrastructure products and services that simplify the design, deployment, and management of wired and wireless networks, communication and collaboration tools, data centers, and security solutions. Flexible Cisco technology optimizes operational efficiency by effectively addressing current challenges and evolving to meet new ones.

Organizational Agility

In today’s technology-dominated world, city governments must be equipped to handle extreme changes, survive extraordinary threats, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Cisco’s portfolio of technologies delivers critical infrastructure components for building and nurturing an agile organization. New technologies including AI, cloud and big data analytics, as well as enhanced collaboration among Integrated, cross-functional teams can help city leaders make timely decisions and act on them quickly.

With Cisco technology city governments can replace antiquated paper processes with digital automation and operate at increased efficiency levels. Cisco flexible, reliable infrastructure and networking solutions balance agility with the highest levels of security possible to fuel innovation and enable municipalities to develop and adopt new strategies more rapidly. They empower public agencies to respond faster and offer new compelling experiences and improved services to their constituents while keeping mission-critical systems secure and operating optimally.

Staying Connected with the Public

While many municipal governments are satisfied providing non-emergency services to their constituents only during regular business hours, the world around them is digitally transforming. To promote citizen engagement and combat a declining trust in government, many cities are embracing social media tools and online survey programs to interact with citizens in new and innovative ways. Cisco technology can help cities develop multiple channels of communication that create new streams of information and enable high-value interaction with its citizens.

Cisco technology untethers city workers from their office phones. Cisco’s industry-leading mobile and collaboration technologies enable city workers to stay connected with colleagues, partners, and citizens, from anywhere on any device, via e-mail, IM, Twitter, LinkedIn and a host of other web applications.

Leveraging Wireless Technology

A growing number of cities are embracing wireless technology to provide enhanced services, bridge digital divides, and achieve strategic, socioeconomic goals. Citizens expect wireless hotspots that provide public Internet access in parks, on buses and subways, in transportation terminals and municipal buildings. Vendors need secure wireless connectivity to connect with suppliers, distributors, and financial institutions to conduct business. Wireless technology also enables cities to deliver reliable internet access for low-income families eager to learn and advance their educations or careers.

Additionally, wireless delivers last mile connectivity, alleviating the expense of building out expensive copper or fiber-optic networks. Wireless technology offers a cost-effective alternative for connecting residences, businesses, and internet if things (IoT) devices to the cloud when wired infrastructure is not available or is cost-prohibitive.

Choosing the right wireless network infrastructure affords cities with the flexibility required to support specific policy initiatives today and in the future. Many cities already have the basic building blocks in place to construct public wireless networks to distribute services. Cisco wireless infrastructure supports the latest wireless standards and provides industry-leading bandwidth. With Cisco wireless, citizens, and visitors get fast wireless speeds and enhanced experiences. City workers and vendors get secure, reliable access to business-critical applications. Cisco wireless network solutions optimize high-density networks environments to provide city workers and citizens with useful and secure wireless experiences.

Smart City Solutions

Thanks to rapid advances in IoT solutions, many municipal governments are leveraging sensors, cameras, actuators, cellular and low power wide area (LPWAN) wireless technologies to connect and enhance city infrastructure to improve the quality of life for their residents. Smart city solutions are transforming streetlights into interconnected next-generation LED lighting platforms that optimize how energy is used and distributed to make the streets safer and cut energy costs.

With embedded sensors and video cameras to monitor and report on traffic, parking, air quality, noise pollution, and other data, smart streetlights can help citizens avoid traffic jams and find parking spaces while providing the city with data that can be used to optimize public services. Connected IoT public safety solutions such as body cameras and urban surveillance systems, along with license plate and fingerprint readers strengthen law enforcement and improve public safety. From smart traffic lights that keep traffic moving smoothly, to smart garbage cans that notify collections services when they are full, to smart electrical grids that enable cities to optimize how energy is used and distributed, smart city solutions drive connectivity, productivity, and security.

The abundance of data collected from IoT sensors and cameras contains rich information that can be aggregated with third party data to generate smart city insights. With advanced machine learning, data from multiple sources can be analyzed to create a holistic view of a city’s critical infrastructure challenges and opportunities to improve city-wide safety and efficiency. Given an ever-increasing amount of data to process, many municipalities are adopting solutions that shorten the time between data acquisition and insight delivery, enabling city leaders to make real-time decisions on issues affecting their constituents.

Cisco is the leading supplier of smart city technologies that enable communities to bridge the digital and physical divide. They lead the way with compelling research, vision, technology, and business models designed to guide cities as they undertake the digital transformation to a smart city. The Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform provides municipalities with the tools and guidelines for creating a smart city framework. Cisco Kinetic for Cities enables data to be collected from multiple types of sensors and aggregated to construct a working digital model of the community. It provides a unified view of all the city’s IoT devices from a single pane of glass to manage lighting, parking, traffic, waste management, and Wi-Fi deployments around the city. The Cisco Kinetic for Cities Platform also exposes APIs that enable the design and development of custom infrastructure management and create new experiences for the city’s citizens and visitors. With Cisco Kinetic for Cities, city leaders get a powerful platform to connect, protect, and enhance the lives of their citizens.

Conclusion

Cities across America are embracing digital technology to streamline their operations, improve the quality of life for their citizens, and spur economic growth. Investing in public infrastructure can be a city’s most powerful tool for solving urban challenges and enabling new experiences for residents and visitors. With Cisco technology, tools, and guidance, municipalities can develop clear, coherent digital transformation initiatives and seize the opportunities presented by powerful new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the IoT, multi-channel communication, and next-generation wired and wireless networks. Cisco technology help cities embrace a smarter digital reality and improve the safety and quality of life for their residents.

With nearly two decades of hands-on experience, Cerium’s specialized knowledge in Cisco technologies and best practices ensure quality and reliable results. We can help you develop a comprehensive plan for digitally transforming your city that ensures alignment with your objectives while maximizing the value from your investments in Cisco technology. Give us a call to learn more about digital transformation opportunities for your city.

Article & Illustration by Tom Woolums, Cerium Networks

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