The growing importance of open source technologies has come to the Smart City this year and looks to expand in the next. Cities looking to leverage local skills or develop local tech hubs to provide services, while reducing costs, are looking to Open Source enablers to jump start many areas of technology. From IOT management to data repositories to analytics software and open data portals, cities now have Open Source options. Of course Open does not mean free, as systems need to be implemented, integrated and operated. However even expenses in areas are an opportunity, as cities can invest in local businesses to leverage Open Source technology.
Which leads to another question; why should city administrations provide all services by increasing internal costs or become eternally beholden to proprietary providers for the provision of services to its residents? Can some services be sourced from society as a whole? Enter Crowd sourcing, the increasingly popular method of delivering just about anything through laying out your request to communities of interested individuals and providers. Allied with the Open Data movement, Crowd sourcing is proving particularly useful for cities who can’t justify expenses on particular services which can prove useful to residents and provide an added value to providers. Examples have already evolved for transport and recreation services and many are sure to come this year. However services are provided, the processes of delivering and maintaining them have long needed an overhaul. Agile project management methodologies will spread their influence not only in the tech sphere but in delivery of physical services. The move away from one off delivery, or waterfall, mentality to iterative project deliveries is inexorable and will pick up pace in cities this year.