Indonesia Developing Smart Cities To Boost Domestic Growth

Indonesia is the latest country in the APAC to adopt various smart city initiatives. According to IDC Government Insights’ recently published report “Building Smart Cities in Indonesia – Embracing Digital Transformation and Innovation across Cities”, Indonesia is seeing increased uptake in smart city initiatives to boost domestic productivity, quality of life and address the country’s pressing socioeconomic problems.

For instance, Depok, a city just south of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, has implemented smart mapping technology. This is to help the government in local planning and development of the area. The Indonesian geospatial solutions vendor Esri Indonesia has deployed the solution for BAPPEDA, the local city planning and development agency. Currently the government agencies for transport, highways and water resources, and planning in the city are all using the technology for real-time collaboration and data sharing. Depok uses a cloud-based platform called ArcGIS Online, which enables users to deliver maps, geographic information layers and analytics to a wider audience. The city now has dynamic web-based portal where users across the organisations can access smart maps and apps. In fact Depok is committed to becoming a full-fledged Smart City by 2025.

Similarly Bekasi city is another area in Indonesia to get a smart city unit today. The unit, called the “Patriot Operations Centre”, will be used by the city Mayor to centrally monitor public services. The centre will gather information from the sensors and CCTV cameras in the city and bring together data from across agencies. Bekasi City Mayor Rahmat Effendi said that this will help his team monitor and identify agencies that are working and those that are not. He see this bring a lot more transparency into city management and development.

This shows that in most Smart City initiatives in the country, it is the local government agencies that play a crucial role in driving the development of the Smart City Roadmap  2025. “Majority of Indonesian smart city projects have been initiated by local and regional government authorities. They include Telkom, the Department of Transport, and BPJS Kesehatan,” shares Sudev Bangah, Country Manager, IDC Indonesia and Philippines. Other cities include Jakarta, Makassar, Bogor,Bandung and Banda Aceh. In fact, reports from the country shows that Indonesian Mayors are making technology a priority in their strategies, to make the best use of limited resources.

“However, many of these projects are funded in silos, and often times, they eventually face long-term operations sustainability issues. We believe the federal government needs to step up and invest so as to spur the growing momentum of digital city transformations and ensure long-term progress is maintained for smart city initiatives,” added Bangah.

To address the increasing city sustainability issues, the Indonesian government plans to spend more than US$420 billion on infrastructure projects over the next 5 years. Shaily Shah, Senior Consultant, Visionary Innovation Group, Frost & Sullivan said that cities become ‘Smart’ when management of public service networks are integrated with IT infrastructure. So when the government when investing in infrastructure projects should look into this aspect as well.

According to her, GIS mapping which exists in most cities now, along with Parking sensors, CCTV cameras, vehicle counters, traffic light detectors and heat maps can be used to create a ‘Smart’ environment. “The smart mapping technology optimises the use of interconnected systems by offering proactive real-time intelligent city services with the aim to ultimately have an interconnected smart city across systems, departments, services and stakeholders,” she added.

So what does this mean for the solution provider? “As most smart city initiatives focus on collaborations, there is a significant partnering opportunity for smart city government leaders to work closely with experienced solution providers,” added Bangah. One evident domain for growth is in smart building solutions. Smart city initiatives can tap on the extensive capabilities from a wide diversity of vendors so as to boost existing smart building core capabilities and functionalities.

IDC recommends vendors to partner with local governments to support smart city pilots and initiatives as another channel to showcase solution functionality, best practices and business benefits. Citizens or consumers are a driving force in the public and private sector adoption of sustainability initiatives. The more business and residential tenants understand the benefits of smart building technologies, the more pressure is on building owners to adopt these technologies. Vendors should consider partnering with city leaders on citizen messaging that is aligned to their own campaigns in those geographies where they are trying to grow.

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