Smart cities are already all the rage, but municipalities also have a lot to gain by going digital.
New technology and digitalisation can improve and simplify everything from health care, building management and street lighting.
Already back in 2015, Telenor could report that 70% of people would find smart municipalities an attractive place to live. An important part of a smart municipality (or city) is the use of sensors with internet access, that gather important data used to automate and improve services. Through this, the municipality can reduce costs, save the environment, and make the everyday life of the inhabitants a lot more convenient.
The benefits of smart municipalities
One of the most important buzzwords of smart technology is eHealth, which for natural reasons is very important for any municipality. eHealth doesn’t just mean hospitals and emergency rooms, but also caring for the elderly. Through sensors and monitoring, people can live in their own homes for a longer amount of time, as the technology can automatically send out alerts if something were to happen.
Building automation allows public buildings to automatically regulate temperature, ventilation and the like, to reduce unnecessary budget posts for electricity. Even the electric grid itself is going digital, meaning reduced costs, better overview, as well as an easier time complying with environmental demands.
Employing fleet management for the municipal vehicles will allow for optimal routing of vehicles and reduced fuel consumption, based on actual need instead of a strict routine. Waste management can now be immediately alerted whenever a container is full, while leaving ones still at capacity.
Last, but not least, a smart municipality supplies a good overview of alarms and events, through user friendly interfaces. Everything from fire alarms to lifts can be easily tracked almost with a glance, leaving you far less at risk of important lines of communication being broken without your knowledge.
READ MORE: What is smart IoT security?
The inevitable challenges of smart technology
Everything’s not all sunshine and roses, unfortunately. All these digital sensors everywhere are liable to get hacked if not properly secured. Suddenly essential services could get interrupted from afar by anyone with malicious intent and the technological know-how to follow up on it.
If everything’s routed towards the same hub, this also means that if this one hub is hacked, even more information could fall into the wrong hands. And we’re talking about what’s known as Big Data here – the very name implies that’s a lot of information. Perhaps it’s not that strange that many elderly nurse a healthy scepticism towards being digitally monitored. To many, Big Data sounds more like Big Brother.
READ MORE: 5 IoT solutions that went wrong – and why
AddSecure’s role in securing the smart municipality
Here at AddSecure, we’re not selling the complete solutions for smart municipalities. We are selling the certainty that your systems and information is 100% secure. Smart technology is about increased communication, and this communication needs to be secure.
With our solutions, all communication is encrypted end to end and invisible on the internet. Even the IP addresses of the communicating devices are invisible and secure from unauthorized access. When smart technology is implemented on a scale as large as a whole municipality, this needs to be done in a manner which makes it easy to implement and operate, or you risk exposing yourself due to lack of technical knowledge. The increase in technological complexity should not make it more complex to use.
A natural place to start for many, would be to gather every alarm – be it in schools, hospitals or lifts – in the AddView software, so you always keep track of the most essential communication. Not only does this make for a safer municipality, but one that is much easier to keep track of.