Singapore is biggest spender on smart city moves in APAC

Image courtesy of Larry Teo

The Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan will account for one-third of global spending on smart cities initiatives throughout the 2019-23 forecast period, with US$65.5 billion in 2023, according to the latest IDC Worldwide Semiannual Smart Cities Spending Guide.

Singapore tops the list of cities that will spend most money on the smart city projects globally, expected to surpass the $2-billion mark on smart cities initiative by 2020, followed by Beijing and Seoul with around $ 1billion each.

Top 10 cities investing on smart city initiatives in 2019 represented around 23% of all APAC spending. China’s spending on smart cities projects is almost double the collective investments made by the rest of the countries in the region. Spending will largely come from smart grids and fixed visual surveillance in 2019.

Gerald Wang, head of public sector at IDC Asia-Pacific, said digital operational investments that aims to bring about greater automation and productivity of cities’ critical infrastructures continue to be the largest spending use cases.

“Increasingly, cities are investing in a range of IT services and software development for personalised citizen-centric civic engagements, and urban city administration tools to demonstrate better outcomes-based value for each dollar spent,” said Wang.

He added that with the recent global COVID-19 pandemic, IDC expects cities to leverage extraordinary budgets to drive more remote “live, learn, work, and play’ city services through greater digital assimilation.

Sharad Kotagi, associate market analyst at IDC Asia-Pacific, said smart applications and data analysis capabilities will enable the cities to digitally transform the governance, mobility, infrastructure and public safety, to move up the smart city maturity curve. As the maturity of the smart cites improves their spending on the smart cities’ projects will also increase.

Top use-cases that receive more than half of the spending over the forecast period will be smart grids, which attract the largest share (19%) of investments, followed by fixed visual surveillance, advanced public transportation, intelligent traffic management and connected back office.

The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2019-23 forecast are: open data, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity, and officer wearables.