Driving the Sustainable Development of Intelligent Cities through Continuous Operations
In recent years, there is a trend emerging: Cities around the world are being transformed by Intelligent City initiatives. Government management standards and public services have improved drastically as a result, reshaping every aspect of life in those cities. The continuous operations of Intelligent Cities play a critical role in achieving their goals: from sustainable development and improving governance, to enhancing residents’ benefits, driving business prosperity, and maintaining a high standard for management and services.
More than 600 cities in China have plans to transform into Intelligent Cities. Discovering best practices of how to run Intelligent Cities, with order and organization, will provide enormous value to the country as a whole. In addition to building Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, Huawei offers high quality services in the planning and design of Intelligent City operations, as well as operational support services. Together with trusted partners, Huawei also provides operations management services for customers to further the sustainable development of Intelligent Cities.
During the construction phase, some Intelligent City projects focus too much on the presentation of government services, the application of new technologies and products, and the replacement of old facilities and equipment — neglecting the need for the continuous operations of systems, services, and data. In the end, such projects fail to yield the desired results. Invariably in these cases, the Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) is not put to full use and its potential is wasted. It is the lack of planning in the construction period that is the root cause, leading to difficulties in the management and operations of Intelligent Cities. Sustainable operations must be a part of the top-level design and closely monitored during the entire construction period. The design should not only take into account the present; it must also be forward-looking, to ensure sustainable operations in the future.
From the very beginning to completion, a wide range of factors must be considered, including access management, infrastructure maintenance, security management, resource management, service operations, data operations, and joint innovation (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Scope of sustainable Intelligent City operations
Because of the differences in their development levels, project positioning, and operations objectives, the scope of sustainable operations varies from city to city. Huawei tailors to the specific needs of individual cities by offering fully customized services. For example, in a traditional IOC project, sustainable operations focus on access management, infrastructure maintenance, security management, resource management, and service operations, as well as the implementation of advanced technologies such as data analysis and application development. In big data projects, data operations and joint innovation can be used to realize cross-department service innovation and study government data and application services.
As the saying goes, well begun is half done. In the early phase of planning for Intelligent City operations, related management systems need to be deployed to facilitate subsequent operations and improve operational efficiency. For example:
• Automatic access control and attendance systems, access control devices, and self-service card issuing devices can be deployed to facilitate access management.
• Deploying a unified network management system and automatic inspection tools facilitate infrastructure maintenance.
• During the design of the service systems, secondary development capabilities should be considered, which will facilitate the flexible deployment and customization of services in the future.
• Designing data governance capability and introducing the development and innovation platform will facilitate data operations and innovation.
If construction and operations are not considered in such a comprehensive way from the very beginning, subsequent Intelligent City operations will be far more difficult. Indeed, it would be technically and financially challenging, and prohibitively expensive to try to achieve the goals I have just outlined without implementing an overall design very early on in the construction period. Huawei has project experience in multiple countries and cities around the world, and is capable of looking at the big picture to make such a comprehensive plan. In short, operations should play a vital role in the overall planning of Intelligent City construction.
Different manufacturers excel in different aspects of Intelligent City operations. Customers are free to choose one or many to work with, focusing on their own needs and positioning. Yet, Huawei can help, bringing together the most suitable partners to cooperate on the design of Intelligent City operations.
• For access management, Huawei cooperates with local enterprises and institutions with good government relations to provide reliable services. Access to a city’s IOC for sensitive personnel is therefore effectively managed, ensuring data confidentiality.
• Service operations are closely linked to the construction of service systems. Therefore, construction partners should also be involved in long-term operations.
• With Huawei’s expertise in building ICT infrastructure, partners gain an edge in maintaining ICT infrastructure, and in managing resources and security.
• For data analysis and joint innovation, Huawei provides a powerful industry enablement and innovation platform, attracting partners to develop apps on the platform, reusing data and providing data services and applications externally. Huawei also provides support and enablement training for data operations and joint innovation for both customers and partners.
Data is the most important asset for an Intelligent City. Huawei’s industry enablement and innovation platform is based on the cloud, integrating the latest ICT technologies such as video, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and Geographic Information System (GIS). It also integrates internal data to provide various services externally, enabling service collaboration and agile innovation. With years of experience in the field of digital transformation, Huawei built this platform to serve as the foundation for the digital world.
• The enablement and innovation platform provides integration enablement services and efficient integration capabilities for data, APIs, messaging, and devices. It also facilitates downstream connection.
• The enablement and innovation platform provides application enablement services and enables upstream partners to perform quick development, flexible deployment, and quick rollout of applications.
Based on the enablement and innovation platform, Huawei offers professional operations support services and provides partners with technical support in platform development, training, and marketing. This helps lower the threshold for customers and partners to adopt new technologies, unlocks the potential of data assets, and allows for quick system integration and application development. Huawei manages all the complexity to provide simplicity to customers, and is fully committed to ensuring the sustainable operations of Intelligent Cities.
Huawei HiCity operations solution has been applied in numerous projects, such as the IOC project in Shenzhen and the data innovation platform project in Zhangjiagang. Huawei is driving the implementation of operations projects for Intelligent Cities in China and beyond, promoting the healthy and sustainable development of Intelligent Cities worldwide.