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Gartner predicts more data sharing for smart places



Global IT analyst house points to growing awareness of IoT data among the public, and to potential for local government to find revenue in data marketplaces

Half of the people in cities of more than a million will voluntarily share their personal data to get benefits from smart city programmes by 2019, according to international IT industry analyst Gartner.

The organisation says the trend towards data sharing will continue as people use more devices that fit within the internet of things (IoT), one of the foundations of smart places.

They will experience some of the benefits of data sharing passively, through government and commercial collaboration, but as the trend picks up they will become more aware of the value of their “life data” and be willing to exchange it for “in the moment” value.

While the forecast applies on an international scale, the brief analysis published by the company points to trends that are emerging in the UK and the development of smart places underpinned by IoT technology.

Growing investments

Gartner’s research director, Anthony Mullen, said: "As citizens increasingly use personal technology and social networks to organize their lives, governments and businesses are growing their investments in technology infrastructure and governance.

“This creates open platforms that enable citizens, communities and businesses to innovate and collaborate, and ultimately provide useful solutions that address civic needs."

The analysis points to a trend in which people are making more use of conversational platforms such as personal assistants and messaging bots, rather than traditional apps and websites. This is generating an increasing volume of machine-readable data on how people interact with government, and creating an opportunity to develop open data portals.

"Open data portals in cities are not a new thing, but many portals today have limited machine readability and therefore limited business value," said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner. "The city becomes 'smart' when the data is collected and governed in a way that can produce valuable real time streams, rather than just backward looking statistics or reports."

It points to some cities, such as Copenhagen, building data marketplaces to use streams of data from the IoT, and says the next step will be the building of a marketplace to present and orchestrate the data to help businesses obtain benefits.

Revenue opportunities

Gartner predicts that 20% of local government organisations will be able to generate revenue from value added open data through the marketplaces by 2020 – if they can make it easier for people and businesses to discover and prepare data, and to find patterns and share them.

"Users will have a number of options to 'pay' for data access depending on the use case," said Tratz-Ryan. "A normal citizen may simply participate via data democracy and have free access in return for providing their own data, whereas commercial use may require sharing revenue with the data owner, or buying a licence to access an enriched data source."

Image from Huawei

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