Lux Rao, Director & Leader, Digital Transformation Office, Cisco India & SAARC
How are data-driven outcomes essential when value-for-money, disclosure, innovation and operational efficiency are at the core of a project's objectives?
Most large-scale infrastructure projects today are increasingly going the public-private-partnership (PPP) way. Technology and governance are key enablers in shaping the way forward for PPPs, while data-driven outcomes are critical because these projects need to generate value-for-money, be innovative and attain operational efficiency in a defined time frame.
Can creating potential new data points to existing as well as future contracts ensure fair and balanced assessment?
Risks and responsibilities are integral to PPPs. While the practice of monitoring contracts and measuring performance post-construction is often rigid and inconsistent, technology can definitely help address the issue. It will be possible to evaluate contracts of the future in a fair and balanced way by creating new data points and defining industry standards that need to be applied to contracts.
How can data impact on day-to-day operations and dictate reactions to unexpected events?
Real-time data management can help manage crisis. Within a city, for example, interconnected systems can help in monitoring traffic flow in a particular area at any point in time. Real-time data can provide information on bottlenecks en route. Using this data and existing technology, it is possible to work out the best way to divert the traffic based on the current location to less utilised or less affected nearby routes. This would, in the long run, help in managing the expectations of citizens. The next time they face similar situations, they will know that there will be a quick solution and that their journey home is likely to be less stressful.
The confluence of IT and infrastructure unlocks a wealth of opportunity. Can this convergence improve performance, transparency and save money?
The convergence of data and technology will help deliver integrated services; enable the various stakeholders (public as well as private) to participate as developers, policy makers and project managers and ensure that the investment is lower due to revenue sharing. Infrastructure projects like smart cities will emerge as major big data hubs with data from sensors and networks being collected, analysed and monitored in real time. This will be used to optimise and streamline city operations and resolve issues, which will help save money in the long run.
Do you think implementing the goals and tracking progress can prove difficult as big data might expose huge gaps in consistency?
Technologies like big data stand as key drivers to creating infrastructure within smart cities, for example. The aggregation of data not only flushes out key insights to enable servicing citizens better, but also enables the creation of new revenue models. The big data market is still at its nascent stage with a huge scope for development. As the market matures, big data can well be the fastest growth segment in many countries.
For better city management, how important is it to assimilate data and convert it into a common source of information?
Smart cities will thrive with dynamic business models in a disruptive environment; technology and governance will be the key enablers in shaping the way forward. Data assimilation and analytics is crucial in bringing various stakeholders together as they can deliver integrated services. Data assimilation will also help in shaping policies and managing projects by ensuring that the investment is lower due to revenue-sharing. Smart cities will emerge as major big data hubs with data from sensors and networks being collected, analysed and monitored in real time to optimise and streamline operations and resolve issues quickly. Connectivity will be a key enabler, offering an omni-channel experience to consumers across all touch points, thus providing a great experience.