I recently caught up with Roei Ganzarski, President and CEO of BoldIQ, to talk about the “smart cities” revolution taking place that’s powered by IoT technology. Roei is responsible for the overall growth and business of the company as well as day-to-day operations, engineering and development. Prior to joining BoldIQ, he was with the Boeing family of companies for thirteen years in continuously increasing roles of responsibility. His last role at Boeing was Chief Customer Officer for Boeing’s Flight Services division where he led all worldwide customer and market facing organizations and was responsible for revenue growth and customer service. His other experiences prior to Boeing include private investment banking, corporate finance, advertising, and the military. He is a graduate of Wharton’s Advanced Management Program, earned an MBA from the University of Washington, and a BA in Economics from The University of Haifa. Roei sits on the advisory boards of Zealyst and the Washington Technology Industry Association board; and is chairman of the global business advisory board at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.
insideBIGDATA: What is the biggest obstacle smart cities must overcome before becoming widespread by the projected year 2025?
Roei Ganzarski: Two obstacles:
- Interconnectivity between the various “smart” elements. Having smart cars operate separately from the smart grid, separately from smart homes, and separately from smart buildings may not add any smartness to the city. In fact, it could create more chaos and havoc. It is imperative that the various elements are intertwined.
- Competitive nature of firms and even government entities. The true smart city will be run in an efficient manner utilizing resources to the best of the city’s needs (i.e. its residents). To do this, companies will have to work together and so will government entities. Take transportation for example: if multiple companies each compete to be the ‘main’ means of “efficient transport” then you have by definition, over capacity in the city thus not efficient or smart. Moreover, if the city department of transport is not willing to relook at their transport ‘kingdom’ for the betterment of the city, that too drives inefficiency – not smart.
insideBIGDATA: What city will emerge as the first truly ‘smart’ city?
Roei Ganzarski: Singapore is an obvious leader. The government there controls everything and is not afraid to impose short term pain on companies or government units in return for long term gains like becoming a smart city. They have a high likelihood of “proving the point” of the value of having a smart city.
insideBIGDATA: How is the on-demand economy spurring this movement?
Roei Ganzarski: The On-Demand economy is driving the need for operations (be they for profit businesses or government organizations) to become demand driven. On-demand means a consumer or customer can get what they want, at the time and place they want it, and only have to ask for it when they are ready to ask and not before. While this is the customer facing aspect, the operator aspect (the organization that needs to provide the service or product) must be demand-driven in order to serve the on-demand need in an efficient manner that enables scale, growth, and self-sustainment. Being demand-driven means having the ability to utilize your resources at the highest level possible and do so in real time in a dynamic and ever changing environment. Note that this assumes organizations have finite resources to do their work. This must be viewed differently from the so-called ‘sharing economy’ where an operation will use someone else’s resources because they are so inefficient, they have spare time or capacity on their resources. The sharing-economy in fact thrives on the inefficiency of the current environment. The smart city will not have any sharing economy as part of it because the only resources being used will be done so efficiently to meet demand. There will be no ‘spare’ resources that are used to share.
insideBIGDATA: We see cities becoming smarter/more connected with on-demand transportation, food, shipping, etc. Which industries and services do you expect to see revolutionized next?
Roei Ganzarski: Healthcare!
insideBIGDATA: With 2025 just under a decade away, what are your predictions for the advancement of IoT/on-demand/smart cities in 2017?
Roei Ganzarski: The next few years will have a lot of IoT ‘things’ being created as individual products. A driverless car; a drone; a smart washing machine; a smart bbq; etc. However not enough work will be done on the integration of these in the next few years (since it is less ‘sexy’ and creates less news) and thus the adoption of these will be slower than what people anticipate.
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