LONDON, Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- What are the threats our cities are facing and is the world equipped to respond to new and more sophisticated attacks? Approaches to law enforcement and city safety have evolved significantly over the last 20 years as information and communication technology has improved how data is captured, stored and used. We are on the cusp of the next evolution of the Safe City with 4G networks enabling faster and greater data transfer while portable and wearable devices provide first responders with remote access to information. Data analytics and secure cloud based services allow agencies to make sense of greater quantities of data at an increasingly lower cost. Put simply, technology is improving situational awareness and collaboration, helping agencies to make better decisions.
In 2014 Frost & Sullivan reviewed and benchmarked over 600 of the world's most populous cities in terms of the threat they face and their ability to invest in the latest technology. The new research - which will be published in the next few days - assesses how cities fall into clusters, why attitudes to technology differ and what this means for systems integrators and technology vendors.
"The rate at which new technologies and approaches to safety are adopted by a city is determined by several key factors that drive technology implementation," says Vice President for Aerospace, Defence & Security at Frost & Sullivan, Steven Webb. "The type and severity of the threat is important as it will determine the technology deployed and the coverage needed to make the city safe. A city faced with a high crime rate faces a different set of challenges to those threatened by terrorism or environmental hazards, such as flooding or earthquakes. Also of importance are government and agency policy and investment in information and communication infrastructure which provides the backbone for surveillance cameras and coordination of intelligence."
The research clearly showed that while some cities faced similar levels of threat, had access to similar levels of finance and were highly focussed on implementing high end technology programs, there is a notable difference between the technology programs in the US and Europe versus the rest of the world.
"This in part is driven by legacy infrastructure and experience," explains Webb. "In the US and Europe, large video surveillance programs already exist and therefore the focus is on getting better intelligence out of the existing infrastructure. At the same time, improvements in wireless broadband coverage and speed, and the ability to share large quantities of data, means programs have shifted from monitoring cities to providing near real time information to officers and decision makers."
With notable exceptions, such as a few Middle Eastern cities, Singapore and Australia, the rest of the world has been focussed on large video surveillance and management programs. This is certainly the case in India where Mumbai announced that it has finally selected a systems integrator for its 6,000 video camera program. More cities in India will follow the examples of Mumbai and Surat, but the focus in the near term will be on video surveillance rather than big data analytics.
Frost & Sullivan's study concludes that the US will continue to set the pace, leading the Internet of Things revolution and next generation 911 development. However, it is also clear that cash rich oil cities in the Middle East and Central Asia, and Russia due to the FIFA World Cup in 2018, will also upgrade security infrastructure as cities focus on becoming smarter and safer.
Frost & Sullivan's paper is one of a three part series assessing technology trends, the supplier ecosystem and the benchmarking of global cities.
If you would like to learn more about Frost & Sullivan's studies on Safe Cities, please send an e-mail to Edyta Grabowska, Corporate Communications, at [email protected]. Please, include your full contact details in the query.
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan