Socitm conference: councils must insist on open data for smart cities wins
Local authorities must demand open access to data generated via service contracts if they are to maximise the potential benefits of the smart cities agenda, the Socitm spring conference heard.
A session at the 21 April event heard that some authorities struggled to get data on some “smart” services run for them by private-sector providers, hampering their ability to take a "big picture" view of local services.
Peter Wheeler, an account manager at global software firm Red Hat, said councils faced “a huge battle” to get data they required for smart-cities initiatives from the independent software vendors responsible for some existing departmental systems.
Wheeler said a simple approach for the future would be to insist upon access to all data in new procurement agreements.
“At the outset there is a need to mandate openness,” he said.
“It will happen over time and as vendors start to realise that it is going to be mandated, they have to be prepared to accept that openness is the way forward.”
However, Wheeler also warned that the potential to collect and collate a "goldmine" of data in a host of new ways to improve services from transport to waste-collection could needlessly drain council resources.
“There is no point in having the data unless ultimately you have a use for it,” he said.
“The danger is that the focus simply becomes data acquisition without extracting anything of value from it, at which point it does become a pointless exercise.”
The conference was organised by Public Technology’s parent company Dods.
Home Office chief reveals two thirds of users also need to be trained
Director general of public spending says remote work enabled people to be brought together more quickly
Government will set legal requirements for digital identity providers rather than consider national identity cards
Report finds 126,000 people were told to shield unnecessarily, as well as 30,000 who had already died
Defence Medical Services (DMS) is pursuing ground-breaking digital, data and technology transformation which will revolutionise Tri-Service healthcare provision to over 135,000 Armed...
OneTrust presents the reasons why your organisation should invest in privacy management - and offers three easy tips for getting started
The remote-first world has seen email being relied on more than ever as a core communication mechanism - but with 93% of IT leaders acknowledging a risk to sensitive data, what steps should be...
2020 was a cyber security wake up call for many organisations. Attempting to provide secure remote access and device flexibility quickly exposed the flaws in legacy systems and processes. As we...