ABI Research analysis found that smart city standards are key to unlocking the full potential but the standards ecosystem is still a diverse network and can be confusing.
Smart city standards are key to unlocking the full potential of smart city technology according to analysis from ABI Research.
The research firm said the promise of interoperability and connected sensors has been difficult to attain in practice but such standards can help to tackle the challenges of vendor lock-in and incompatible devices.
Analysis found that the standards ecosystem is still a diverse network of standards development organisations (SDOs), alliances, and consortia, but there is promise that with proper cooperation they could be vital to the smart cities market.
“Smart Cities technologies are advertised as able to collect data and insights into how a city is functioning through a variety of means such as weather monitoring, utilities monitoring,” said Lindsey Vest, smart cities and smart spaces research at global technology intelligence firm, ABI Research.
“However, there are issues with vendor lock-in and a lack of interoperability between devices, which means that the full benefit of smart cities technology is not realised.”
There are many different organisations and consortia that engage with standardisation, including international and organisations such as ISO, IEC, ETSI and ITU-T. Furthermore, there are non-profits, consortia, and alliances such as IEEE, OASC, IETF and TM Forum.
“However, there are issues with vendor lock-in and a lack of interoperability between devices, which means that the full benefit of smart cities technology is not realised”
The wide range of organisations involved in standardisation can create a confusing and inefficient ecosystem but ABI highlighted groups such as the Joint Smart Cities Task Force (J-SCTF), formed by the ISO, IEC, and ITU-T, as committed to helping combat these issues.
It said that companies that engage in standardisation through engaging with various consortia and industry alliances can gain a strategic advantage as their solutions can be targeted to meet the requirements of, for example, interoperability with existing city systems.
Vest added: “Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a useful mechanism for cities to measure their own performance, and even more powerful when standardised KPIs are used. Organisations such as the World Council on City Data (WCCD) leverage these standardised KPIs to compare, rank, and share best practice between smart cities globally.”
These findings are from ABI Research’s The Development of Smart City Standards and KPIs application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Cities & Smart Spaces research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights.