The road to the future: How outsourcing can build the smart city of tomorrow

Smart cities are no longer a dream of a better future. A city where inhabitants’ lifestyles are enhanced through interconnected software solutions has already started to become a reality, with seven out of ten people likely to live in a smart city by 2050. Smart cities improve the lives of citizens not only through improved work and lifestyle conditions, but also through facilitating easier communication, greater security and safety, and protecting the environment.

To achieve these improvements, smart city developers use the latest developments in technology, including big data and computer vision technology. For example, urban mobility and parking systems provider, Parkeon, used a combination of Android, node.JS, JavaScript, XML and more to supply a city-wide scheme in Helsinki with driver consoles, ticket validators, ticket vending machines, inspection devices and a comprehensive back office system.

Sourcing skills

When councils and governments decide to implement smart city technology into a city’s infrastructure, they must work with skilled engineers and developers who can ensure that the right tech is implemented efficiently. Because of the need for highly skilled engineers, the governing bodies of each city may struggle to employ the right experts. To resolve this issue, hiring outsourcing or nearshoring experts can provide city developers with the required knowledge and skills to begin enhancing the city’s technology.

With roads and infrastructure in particular, the range of services that outsourcing companies can help councils and governments to implement includes intelligent transportation systems, intelligent parking, passenger information systems, ticketing systems and city cards, fee management and security monitoring, among others. But how do outsourcing experts use technology to achieve this?

Big cities with big data

Using big data in smart cities can enhance the driving experience of citizens. For example, a smart IoT network can register the days and times when more riders are present at particular stops (and accommodate by automatically creating a more efficient timetable). Through deploying real-time information technology with big data, outsourcing and nearshoring experts can collect data from riders’ movement patterns.

The analysed data then produces solutions that ease the collective customer journey over time. Installing big data monitoring systems enables transport technologies to create advanced, customisable solutions to be available to future customers through analysing trends and patterns. For example, in Helsinki, two million transport transactions are processed daily, supporting roughly 6,500 devices. All of this data is processed together, and used to improve the technology and rider experience of the city as a whole.

However, big data can not only be used to improve transport networks, but also the accessibility of public transport to tourists, and the individual experience of users. For example, the vast amount of traffic and road information collected and analysed as big data can be used to detect whether new languages are needed in machines communicating with customers.

Looking through the eyes of technology

Alongside the use of big data, outsourcing experts can use smart technology in the form of computer vision to recognise license plates and conduct intelligent video analysis. Computer vision can also be used to operate intelligent urban monitoring, the security of buildings and property, and conduct consumer tracking behaviour.

For example, intelligent video surveillance can replace traditional CCTV monitoring systems. By doing this, smart city developers can detect dangerous behaviour, such as cars driving in restricted areas or violating traffic laws. Computer vision technology independently detects crucial events and automatically notifies the operator, who can solve more cases with immediate action. This leads to an overall increase in the security of cities, thanks to significantly faster response rates to crime on roads.

Alongside outsourcing experts helping to develop the smart city, these experts can also be called upon to continue working on the projects as they are improved in the future. Through outsourcing and nearshoring, governing organisations have access to teams with the specific infrastructure expertise.

The key goals that smart transport infrastructure needs to accommodate are innovation, sustainability and productivity. Outsourcing and nearshoring experts can help to achieve this, as these experts are likely to have new technology skills, including expert user interface designers and solution consultants, automated testing experts, and enhanced system developer processors. With technology advancing at an impressive rate, outsourcing professionals can be on hand to implement this technology into city infrastructure.

Written by Jaroslaw Czaja, CEO, Future Processing