SCaaS – Smart City as a Service

In this evolving new world Of digitization in cities, government officials are seeking innovative options to accelerate their smart city journeys without drying up all the available funding or halting other initiatives. This is where CitySys model Smart City-as-a-Service (SCaaS) comes into play.

What is SCaaS?

SCaaS is a flexible delivery model to solve the funding-related problems with traditional smart city approaches and allows cities to re-invent themselves as adaptable places that provide enhanced services to their communities through the use of innovative technologies.

The three key aspects of SCaaS model are:

1/ The switch from a CAPEX (capital expenditure) to OPEX (operational expenditure) mindset: Recent advances in the digital economy has reduced the upfront costs associated with traditional business models. Subscription based models are increasingly popular as they remove the rigidity and friction around investments in technology and infrastructure assets. The goal of developing an asset is not about owning it, rather maximising its utilisation.

2/ A sharing economy approach to ecosystem creation: Smart cities are an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders made up of citizens, businesses and communities. Flexible “on-demand” models are showing up everywhere these days, which allow for ecosystem value creation in a way that the component individuals, businesses and communities become active participants in a city’s journey to become a future smart city.

3/ Delivery of digital services through an open data platform: A fundamental element for the delivery of digital services is a smart city platform, which is open and promotes data democratisation/sharing with all the interested parties. The city then buys projects back in the form of services developed on the platform. This allows the delivery of a suite of digital services via mutually beneficial partnerships with private companies, while retaining control, security and priority in a horizontal layer of technology.

How can cities embrace SCaaS model?

CitySys use a strategic partnership with VALO Smart city Europe and use SCaaS model signals a move away from the traditional approach of a sequential design-build-operate model of asset development, towards a usage-driven approach. A certain amount of resistance is expected within councils towards embracing this innovative model, however when you look around,
there are not many options left. In fact, that is the main reason so many smart city offices have an overlapping role of driving innovation in their communities.

There are a few easy steps for cities and councils who want to embark on this journey of SCaaS, such as:

For all new procurement of smart city services and systems, start asking for an optional “as-a-service” model from vendors/service providers.
Partner with citizens (individuals and businesses) through an “on-demand” digital platform for involving them in the execution of smart city pilots.
Conduct a rapid assessment of the city’s current progress on its smart city journey in a few weeks to identify the top three to five initiatives that can be turned into smart projects to demonstrate quick wins.
Ideally, these steps will sow the seeds to gain a higher buy-in from all stakeholders to engage in the creation of smart cities through an “as-a-service” model.
The journey requires the sustained delivery of core services through a smart city open data platform, capable of adapting to diverse digital fields such as, but not limited to:

• Internet of Things (IoT) – Integration with parking, lighting and waste management
• Information and communication technology (ICT) – eProcurement, bids and tenders
• Geospatial technology – Location-based services, such as road closures and transit systems
• Mobile and cloud friendly applications – Recruiting, payments, visitor management, etc.
• Digital Twins – Fully open integration between home grown and third-party systems.

Why you should choose SCaaS?

To create lasting community benefits and future-proof investments in technology, SCaaS offers an attractive financial proposition to cities. It allows cities to save on huge upfront investments in technology and smart systems by switching to an as-a-service model, thus reassigning those finances towards more pressing community needs, such as pandemic-related urgencies.