Konkana Khaund's Blog

Smart Cities-An intrinsic union of connectivity, sustainability and profitability

30 Aug 2013 | by Konkana Khaund
Share this:

The concept of 'smart city' has become a central topic for a wide cross section of industry participants ranging from city administrators, technology vendors and infrastructure providers. While the momentum gained globally for setting up smart city projects is impressive, the challenges and pitfalls faced are equally immense, leading to critical questions about whether connectivity and sustainability are alone good enough to sustain the smart city value proposition. Profitability and value justifications are vital in ensuring continuity of such initiatives over time.

A topic of growing interest for industry podiums and conferences, smart cities has recently been the feature of several key conferences in North America, Europe and Asia. Frost & Sullivan’s flagship event – Growth Innovation and Leadership conference, to be held in San Jose, California on Sep 8-11, 2013 is dedicating a track titled “Smart Cities Solutions Think Tank”, which will bring together city leaders, CTOs, communication and technology platform providers, and Frost & Sullivan in house experts to brainstorm on a variety of issues including:

  • Profitability issues and challenges - supporting radical changes
  • Lessons to be learned by all involved – utilities, cities, security and privacy commissions, technology vendors and other infrastructure providers
  • Effective ways of selling to the city


A significant thrust has been witnessed from governments, suppliers and service providers to make our cities smart in recent times. This calls for several key elements to come together cohesively and profitably to make smart city a long term value proposition for all involved. A discussion on these issues and challenges involved in making major shifts in cultural, operational and business changes will form the central point of discussion in the upcoming Frost & Sullivan Analyst Briefing from the Energy & Environment Group on Thursday, Oct 24, 2014 at 11 am eastern time.


In making smart city a reality, city administrators, infrastructure providers, technology vendors and other stakeholders will need to address a host of factors such as:

  • Successful interaction between core and support services
  • The importance of evaluating the 'city as a customer'
  • Need for standards and well-defined roles/responsibilities
  • Emulating best practices

Join me and our team in exploring this interesting and evolving industry hot topic, an area that has witnessed active contribution and involvement in furthering thought leadership from several of us at Frost & Sullivan over the last few years. And it will continue to grow in many ways including active research from our global analysts, event participation and contribution to smart city forums and alliances, and partnerships with city enterprises and governments to aid effective implementation. You may find these of interest:

The vital role of ICT in ensuring a Smart City: prod/servlet/ebroadcast.pag?eventid=253601510

ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies. We are also formally supporting the global ITU-T Smart Cities Initiative and will be involved soon in their focus groups:


Beyond creating a modernized and interactive urban hub, a smart city will ultimately form the prerequisite for sustained economic growth of nations. From the first wave of sustainable cities like Amsterdam, to the present wave of emerging growth zones like Brazil, Seoul and others, the proposition of the smart city will continue to encompass, and impact destinations for drivers that are well past the ones touted as critical today. Needless to say, this will keep all stakeholders heavily engaged in trying to keep abreast of the evolving key elements as concepts, definitions, and requirements of a smart city undergoes further evolution.