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Joburg, Cape Town, ranked among most connected cities

Johannesburg and Cape Town are recognised as part of the world’s top hyper-connected cities that are making progress on interconnecting urban ecosystem and realising benefits

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Data is at the core of successful smart city innovation, according to new research from Oracle and economic and urban research consultancy ESI ThoughtLab. The Building a Hyperconnected City study found that cities are drowning in data from advancements such as Internet of Things (IoT). The survey projected that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices generating data by 2020. The study notes that for cities to become truly ‘smart’, they must have a cloud infrastructure in place to extract, integrate, and analyze this data to glean the insights needed to enhance everything from citizen services to building projects.   

The report surveyed 100 cities across the United States, APAC, EMEA and LATAM. 

The hyper-connected multiplier effect

According to the study, the average return on investments in hyper-connected initiatives ranges from three – four percent. As cities become more interlinked, their ROI grows: cities just starting out realize a return of 1.8 percent for implementers and 2.6 percent for advancers, while hyper-connected leaders see a 5.0 percent boost. That can translate into enormous returns ranging from $19.6 million for implementers to $40.0 million for advancers and $83 million for hyper-connected leaders.  

Other key findings from the study include:

  • AI, Blockchain and biometrics are increasingly pervasive: Cities are using these technologies in key urban areas, such as IT infrastructure and telecoms, mobility and transportation, payment and financial systems, and physical and digital security. City leaders need the right technology platforms and applications to implement and leverage these tools and capabilities.
  • Cybersecurity requires careful planning and is expensive when not implemented properly: The study revealed that half of the 100 city leaders surveyed do not feel adequately prepared for cyberattacks.
  • Smart initiatives are bolstering constituent satisfaction: While physical and digital security top the list of priorities, citizen engagement and satisfaction have risen as a top five goal. 33 percent of innovative leaders in North America have appointed Chief Citizen Experience Officers. 

“The public sector, particularly at local level, is dealing with seismic technological, demographic and environmental shifts. Data is the rocket fuel for this transformation, and progressive cities are turning to cloud, data platforms, mobile applications and IoT as a way to scale and prepare for the future,” said Susan O’Connor, global director for Smart Cities, Oracle. “In contrast, not taking advantage of emerging technologies such as AI, Blockchain or virtual and augmented reality comes at a cost. Cities of the future need strategic, long-term investments in cloud data architecture, along with the right expertise to guide them through.”

Customer Commitment to Smarter Cities: 

“As a data driven organization, we integrate, manage and use data to inform how we improve services for our constituents,” said Hamant Bharadia, assistant director of finance at the London Borough of Lambeth. “Oracle Cloud Applications for financial planning and payroll are an integral part of our digital strategy, setting us up for a modern way of working and engaging with our communities. They are an essential enabler for us to support innovation, improve public safety and realize our vision of making Lambeth a connected, inclusive place to thrive.”  

“Approximately 50% of Buenos Aires sidewalks are in poor condition, and we previously used spreadsheets to plan the routes for our crew to fix them,” said Alejandro Naon, chief of staff of planning of the undersecretariat of pedestrian ways, City of Buenos Aires. “Today, with Oracle CX Field Service Cloud, we can identify and fix the sidewalks exponentially faster because we receive images and information in real time. Our sidewalks are safer, our workers are more productive, and we recovered our Oracle technology investment in 18 months.” 

“At the foundation of our smart government innovation is Oracle Analytics Cloud. It is both the heartbeat and hub for sharing information, enabling us to deliver data-driven citizen services and engagement with maximum impact,” said Chris Cruz, director and chief information officer, San Joaquin County. “Our entities throughout San Joaquin County, such as hospitals, law enforcement, transportation and public works, now partner more effectively and are better equipped to meet the health, social, safety and economic needs of our constituents.”  

Oracle’s Smart City solutions transform the ways cities can harness and process the power of data through the integration of modern digital technologies and channels. The platform integrates technologies spanning cloud, digital outreach, omni-channel service, case management, mobility, social, IoT, Blockchain, and artificial intelligence while helping ensure comprehensive security and information privacy. 

For more information, go to https://www.oracle.com/applications/customer-experience/industries/public-sector/

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GoFundMe hits R9bn in donations for people and causes

The world’s largest social fundraising platform has announced that Its community has made more than 120-million donations

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GoFundMe this week released its annual Year in Giving report, revealing that its community has donated more than 120-million times, raising over $9-billion for people, causes, and organisations since the company’s founding in 2010.

In a letter to the GoFundMe community, CEO Rob Solomon emphasised how GoFundMe witnesses not only the good in people worldwide, but their generosity and their action every day.

“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform,” said Solomon in the letter. “Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”

The GoFundMe giving community continues to grow with both repeat donors and new donors. In fact, nearly 60% of donors were new this year. After someone makes a donation, they continue to engage with the community and give to multiple causes. In fact, one passionate individual donated 293 times to 234 different fundraisers in this past year alone. Donations are made every second, ranging from $5 to $50,000. This year, more than 40% of donations were under $50.

GoFundMe continues to be a mirror of current events across the globe. This year, young changemakers started the Fridays for Futuremovement to fight climate change, which led to a 60% increase in fundraiser descriptions mentioning ‘climate change’. Additionally, the community rallied together to support one another during natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and the California wildfires, where thousands of fundraisers were started to help those in need.

The report includes a snapshot of giving trends from the year based on global GoFundMe data. It also includes company milestones from 2019, such as launching the company’s non-profit and advocacy arm, GoFundMe.org, and introducing GoFundMe Charity, which provides enterprise software with no subscription fees or contracts to charities of every size.

Highlights from GoFundMe’s 2019 Year in Giving report include:

  • Global giving trends and data
  • Top 10 most generous countries
  • Top 10 most generous U.S. states and cities
  • Biggest moments in 2019

To view the entire report, visit: www.gofundme.com/2019

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Cars

For users, in-car touchscreens ever more useless

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As touchscreens become more commonplace, the gulf of perceived differences in the performance of these features between cars and other devices (such as mobile and in-home) has become wider. A new report from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has investigated car owners’ satisfaction with their on-board touchscreens. Long hamstrung by poor UX and extended production cycles, in-car touchscreens are seen by car users and buyers as lagging behind the experience offered by touchscreens outside the car. As such, consumer satisfaction has continued to slide in China and Europe, while reaching historic lows in the US.

Surveying consumers in the US, Western Europe, and China via web-survey, key report findings include:

  • Difficult text entry and excessive fingerprint smudging are common complaints among all car owners.
  • Because touchscreens have reached market saturation in the US, satisfaction with in-car screens has tailed off significantly.
  • However, touchscreens remain a relatively newer phenomenon in many car models in Western Europe (compared with the US) and thus their limitations are less prominent in the minds of car owners.
  • Overall touchscreen satisfaction fell for the fifth straight year in China, indicating a growing impatience for in-car UX to match UX found elsewhere in the consumer electronics space.

Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author, says, “Part of the issue with fingerprint smudging is the angle at which in-car touchscreens are installed – they make every fingerprint increasingly visible.

“Fingerprint smudging is an issue across all touchscreen-based consumer electronics. But in most form factors and especially mobile devices, consumers can quite easily adjust their viewing angle. This is not always the case with fixed in-car screens.”

Says Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP, “Although hardware quality certainly figures in many of the usual complaints car owners have about their screens, it is not the sole factor. Cockpit layout and UI design can play important roles in mitigating some issues with in-car touchscreens.”

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