When Melbourne Airport set out to launch its new T4 terminal, its management team was asking the same questions being discussed in C-suites all over the world.

How could they:

  • improve the customer experience?
  • get more with the same level of resources?
  • make better use of data?

The answer: Make Melbourne Airport a Smart City.

“To become a smart city, we needed to move from being reactive to more proactive, and then eventually to predictive. For this to occur, we needed a number of things to fall into place,” said Melbourne Airport’s Vic Raymond. “For example, we collect a lot of data, and we need to understand the context of that data and turn it into reliable information sources that can be used to make informed decisions.”

One area of innovation that stands out in the Melbourne Airport story is its use of a “situational awareness” platform. According to Wikipedia, “situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed.”

The airport is using situational awareness to get a full understanding of all operations in real-time. By connecting large numbers of devices including IT systems, control systems and other types of assets and providing employees with easy access to ‘in-the-moment’ intelligence, they’re running more efficiently than ever before.

It’s just one way that Melbourne Airport is reaping the benefits of Smart City technologies. Get the complete story here.

How Smart Cities Can Benefit Your Business

Smart cities aren’t just making life better for city planners, municipalities, and everyday citizens. In fact, the line between smart cities and smart businesses is getting more blurry every day. Consider that two thirds of the world’s population is expected to be living in smart cities by 2050. That’s a lot of potential customers, and also happens to be where your future employees will live.

So, what can you do today to make sure your business is prepared for the the Smart City of tomorrow?

This recent McKinsey article is a great place to start. Below are three tips:

  1. Adapt and expand current offerings From smart meters to customer kiosks to sensors aimed at predicting traffic flows and communications, innovative companies are getting a jump on implementing new technologies that will be commonplace in smart cities. Companies will be required to invest to stay competitive, but this innovation can also open up new opportunities to partner with cities and citizens to grow your business.
  2. Be ready to engage a newly empowered customer People living in smart cities will live smarter, driven by increased usage of shared services and increasingly sophisticated mobile applications. As a result, they’ll demand smarter businesses. Ones that know what they want, when they want it, and how. Be sure your company is exploring the latest customer experience technologies, including how areas like predictive analytics and machine learning can help.
  3. Collaborate with your community Businesses operating in smart cities need to be more engaged with city planners and city officials than ever before. There’s also a new and even more important stakeholder: The Public. Smart cities and open data policies are giving everyday citizens access to mountains of data on what’s happening around them. They’re using it to influence everything from public policy to commercial space usage in their neighborhoods. Make sure your working together with your local community as you roll out new products and services.

Read the complete article from McKinsey here.

Smart cities are about more than technology. They will literally change the way we work and live in the future. Make sure your business doesn’t get left behind.