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IDC: Global smart cities spending will near $100b this year

By Ben Moore
Fri 1 Feb 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

IDC has expanded its Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide to include more than 100 cities and 30 use cases. 

The additional coverage is designed to provide deeper insight into smart cities investment priorities, programs, and use cases.

In a new update to the Spending Guide, IDC forecasts worldwide spending on smart cities initiatives to reach $95.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 17.7% over 2018. Singapore, New York City, Tokyo, and London will each invest more than $1 billion in smart cities programs this year.

"The smart cities market is extremely dynamic, and while only a small number of cities have the budget for large scale integrated projects, our database of 100 cities, which includes most of the largest capitals and innovative cities around the world, only represents around one quarter of global smart city spending," says IDC customer insights and analysis group programme manager Serena Da Rold. 

"There is a long tail of cities focusing on specific issues or looking for cross-departmental transformation on a smaller scale. These cities represent a big opportunity for providers of smart city solutions that can be replicated and adapted to address specific use cases in different cities, leveraging the experience gained in a similar context."

Initiatives related to data-driven public safety, intelligent transportation, and resilient energy and infrastructure will attract the largest share of funding in 2019, but key use cases in the areas of economic development and civic engagement, and sustainable planning and administration will also see considerable investments.

The smart cities use cases that will receive the most funding in 2019 include fixed visual surveillance, advanced public transit, smart outdoor lighting, intelligent traffic management, and connected back office. 

Together, these five use cases will represent 34% of worldwide spending this year. 

Strong investment growth in intelligent traffic management solutions will make it the third largest use case in 2020, overtaking smart outdoor lighting. 

The use case that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2017-2022 forecast period is officer wearables, which includes smart apparel, smart headsets and glasses, and smart holsters. 

Other use cases that will experience significant spending growth include digital twin and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity.

The Asia/Pacific region represents over 40% of total spending on smart cities initiatives with eleven cities in China exceeding the $300 million level in 2019.

"In the Asia/Pacific region, the exponential growth and diversity of smart city initiatives in second- and third-tier cities are continually challenging many first-tier cities to transform,” says IDC Asia Pacific public sector research Gerald Wang. 

“With competition for talent and foreign direct investment being even more intense today, these socioeconomic hubs provide huge openings for solution providers to aid in seamless connectivity and collaborations, enhanced productivity and automation, as well as address security and privacy concerns.”

"By identifying and forecasting the key projects and initiatives being funded worldwide by Smart Cities and Communities, IDC has a depth and breadth of data that allows us to offer unique intelligence to suppliers and buyers of technologies in this high-growth market," adds IDC government insights and smart cities programmes Ruthbea Yesner. 

"As the market keeps evolving via new offerings, new entrants, and new partnerships, this information will become increasingly valuable."

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