KPMG is an advisory board member of the UK-based Hypercat consortium that has created a secure, vendor-agnostic interoperability standard for IoT devices. The standard is a lightweight, JSON-based hypermedia catalogue format designed to expose information about IoT assets over the web.
The rapid pace of technology change presents challenges for city administrators when making smart city investments. Standards and interoperability for the IoT are vital to ensuring these investments translate to liveable and sustainable smart cities. It is important for cities who are planning to make significant investments in the smart city space have the ability to make appropriate investments, but to make them in such a way that they can be managed and enable a change or introduction of new vendors into their ecosystem over time. Delivering solutions in this space requires an ecosystem of vendors – there is no single vendor that has a mortgage on the whole solution.
KPMG is looking to assist in bringing Hypercat to the Australian marketplace in the second half of this year as a means to assist with dealing with this challenge of supporting standards and interoperability. A formal announcement is expected to be made in the coming months.
There are two sides to government's involvement in smart city initiatives. From a regulatory point of view, it’s challenging for a government to keep up with fast-moving innovation, particularly around technology. On the other hand, the Federal Government are creating and fostering for this type of activity to occur through initiatives such as the Federal Government's Smart Cities Plan, where $50 million has been pledged to establish a smart city program for local governments to collaborate and apply technology projects to improve the liveability of cities and their suburbs.
This is a great starting point to build from, according to Hogarth-Scott. "I’d like to think that over time, once we see traction come out of this initial seed funding, it will start to create further initiatives and gain a life of its own,” he said. "Once that occurs, the business cases for governments to provide more substantial and additional funding will be clear and obvious."
In addition, concepts like open data platforms can create organic innovation within a city’s community itself. Hogarth-Scott adds, "by making open data sets available to the community, it enables that community to develop applications of their own accord, adding value back into the city."
"It's not always incumbent on the city or the local government authority to make all of the investments themselves, but instead they can also act as an enabler," he said.
This article was adapted from its original, published on 24 June 2016 by Peter Gutierrez on IoT Hub.