Why smart cities are best managed in the cloud

The world’s leading analyst for strategic market intelligence for IoT, Machina Research, has published a new study recommending future smart city services should be managed in the cloud.

Commissioned by Philips Lighting, the whitepaper highlights how hybrid cloud offers the most cost-effective infrastructure, and the importance of future-proofing the IT used to implement Smart City services.

Smart City applications such as street light control, smart parking and road traffic management are starting to be widely deployed around the world, bringing benefits to city operations, better quality of life and reduced costs and energy use.

Currently these services tend to be deployed as stand-alone applications, but the full benefits of a Smart city will only be realised if these applications are able to share data, enabling cross-department processes, engaging citizens, and making city operations transparent to all stakeholders. In addition, many cities are growing rapidly and need to be sure that these applications can be extended and expanded as required.

This means a strategy is required for future-proofing the IT used to implement Smart City services, to ensure that the city is not restricted by the limitations of an initial pilot deployment.


As shared by the author of the White Paper, Margaret Ranken, ‘Cloud implementations deliver the flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness needed to implement Smart City applications connecting many thousands of end-points. As cities implement their Smart City applications, they will find that making use of cloud infrastructure for new applications, while maintaining existing in-house infrastructure, at least in the short term, is the only practical solution.’

Additionally, as physical location is no longer a major factor in ensuring the security of today’s networked IT systems, cloud solutions are likely to be the logical next step. The most secure infrastructure is one for which all the latest security techniques are applied as soon as they become available.

This is best achieved by professional data center managers for whom security is a full-time job. And it can be most effectively realized in the cloud where there is the capacity to test backup routines rigorously and to apply big data analytics to filter out the false alarms which often overwhelm in-house IT teams.

Download a copy of the White Paper “Future-Proofing IT for Smart City Services”.