Why Australia's cities will be getting an IoT kickstart

You know that old African proverb – "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Partnerships, my friends, are the new black. And this is not unique to the smart cities marketplace, it’s been the norm for some time. And last week an amazing partnership was announced between two of our members, Cisco and KPMG.

Without giving too much away (you can read more below), the partnership brings some fundamental, and exciting, core smart cities services to government stakeholders that cover feasibility, design thinking, and change management, among others. And these are some critical issues that are necessary to ensure smart cities technologies can be successfully embraced by government. — Adam Beck


Cities embarking on smart city initiatives often find out early on that they don't have the technological expertise on their teams to accomplish their goals. But a collaboration between two Smart Cities Council partners intends to provide cities with the IoT and related technologies and support they need to implement successful projects.

The collaboration between Global Lead Partner Cisco and ANZ Council Associate Partner KPMG Australia pulls together Cisco's global technology capabilities and KPMG's IoT expertise in a way they anticipate will help their client cities become more liveable, workable and sustainable.

The primary tools they plan to deliver include:

  • financial and business case modelling
  • design thinking
  • smart city architecture
  • change management
  • data and analytics
  • master service integration
  • solution design and implementation
  • cybersecurity
  • optimisation and operation services

"New Internet of Things technologies are disrupting how cities and towns work across the globe to help make them more liveable, workable and sustainable. From smart parking to utilities management – the opportunities for governments at all levels to drive better and more cost-effective services are endless. With technology changing so quickly, smart city leaders face complex decisions, with limited access to actionable insight and therefore limited abilities to automate.

"By combining KPMG and Cisco's complementary capabilities across a broad range of end-to-end smart cities services, this strategic alliance will offer smart solutions to clients, as well as drive forward the overall smart cities sector in Australia," said Piers Hogarth-Scott, leader of KPMG Australia's IoT practice.

The services will be delivered through the Cisco Smart+Connected Digital Platform which is now being used in several cities, including Adelaide, Paris, Copenhagen, Kansas City, Bucharest, Bengalaru and more. It's an approach in which the platform collects data from numerous sources such as sensors and existing information systems to allow cities to holistically monitor and manage infrastructure and the services they provide.

Kevin Bloch, CTO for Cisco Australia and New Zealand, put it this way: "Connectivity and the consolidation and contextualization of data are some of the keys to unlocking the full value from smart city initiatives. We are excited to partner with KPMG to provide the full suite of services and technologies to enable Australian smart cities, smart precincts and smart communities.

"We will also work with international standards and practices, ensuring the development of an open and interoperable architecture and building upon both our organisations' support of the Hypercat standard."

He also said Cisco and KPMG will develop opportunities for collaboration with government, business and educational institutions.

Doug Peeples is a writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartcitiesanz on Twitter.