Modern Networks Help Smart Community Initiatives Go the Distance


Technology has become an integral part of modern municipal management. Last year the global market for smart cities was valued at $1,226.9 billion, with North America holding a 30% share.

If you’ve invested in creating a smart community, you know what a difference digital transformation can make in the lives of your citizens. From wireless communication systems to air quality sensors, it’s likely you have a number of initiatives off to a running start.

None of these endeavors can go the distance without sound IT and network infrastructure. If yours is outdated, progress will drag along at a snail’s pace. To fast-track your community’s smart initiatives, you need the right network management solution.

Gold Medal Potential

Smart initiatives are based on datasets collected from the population of a given community. When used effectively, the information enables better programming and decision-making throughout civic governance. The potential for progress is enormous, especially when it comes to improving:

  • Awareness and access to public services
  • Participation in health and education programs
  • Enhanced social and economic development
  • Protection and conservation of the environment
  • Efficiency in processing permits and licenses

The data is there. Globally, more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated daily, according to the World Economic Forum. Yet less than 1% of this data is fully utilized. To really get smart, communities need access to high-quality and dependable data – that’s where your network comes in. It takes reliable IT infrastructure to realize the potential of digital initiatives.

Common Obstacles to Digital Transformation

Whether your smart city is focusing on traffic coordination, utility conservation, weather notifications, or any number of other efforts, you need a modern and reliable network.

Otherwise, your initiatives might fail. In fact, failure to upgrade the network is one of the main reasons many digital transformation projects don’t succeed. Without the proper network upgrades, your smart community projects may suffer from:

  • Insufficient bandwidth, especially during peak use hours
  • Dropped signals, from trying to stretch coverage over a wide area
  • Network latency, when packets carry large payloads
  • Data risks, for sensitive government and private information
  • Excessive provisioning times, due to incompatible components

Extreme demands on your connectivity and data capacity are a reality. They’ll only continue to grow as new technology develops. If your network isn’t strong enough now, there’s no way modernization efforts can move forward. Outdated systems simply can’t sustain the volume or complexity of advanced applications.

Training for the Technology Win

To power past those problems, you need a network built to enhance agility, flexibility, and visibility. In modern network architecture, these qualities work together to facilitate multiple objectives. You’re better equipped to meet the evolving demands of your residents and staff. Workplace productivity and engagement are increased. Threat detection is also improved, which decreases risk and strengthens security.

A modern network will help your agency clear any hurdle.

  • When agency staff has reliable connectivity, they can communicate more easily and deliver a higher level of service to citizens.
  • When citizens and safety officials can stay connected from any location, communities are safer and more empowered.
  • When security equipment and cameras are always online, crime is reduced and prosecuted more effectively.
  • When utility sensors can detect carbon emissions and other pollutants, agencies can alert citizens to potential hazards and initiate projects to improve air quality and sustainability.

So, what else is out there to help your smart community get to gold?

4 Ways to Fuel Your Smart Community

As your smart community grows and technology advances, it can feel like you’re sprinting uphill. The speed of digital transformation combined with a steep incline in devices, users, and apps will test your network’s threshold daily. Fortunately, there are a range of options to give you a second wind.

  1. Fabric technology incorporates specific design principles (unity, automation, and security) to facilitate a reliable connection between network locations and devices. It can pass the baton between SD-WAN, remote branch sites, and campuses, as well as your data center. IEEE/IETF standard technology provides a proven solution capable of supporting a wide range of smart initiatives. When you’re making large changes with a small staff on a short deadline – all while maintaining high levels of service to your residents – you need as many performance enhancers as you can get. A system that’s simple, flexible, and secure cuts down time and effort. Now you can get to the outcomes that make a difference in your community, faster.
  1. Cloud management makes it possible to enhance both user experience and application performance. Your community and the staff who serve them need the ability to access information virtually and collaborate with ease. Outdated systems can’t deliver, making legacy migration a major focus for state and local governments. When your IT team has the resources they need to reduce risk, simplify operations, and improve productivity, they can put your agency through the paces of digital transformation. Modern governance is objective-oriented and transparency-focused. That’s why it’s coached from the cloud.
  1. Unified AIOps and machine learning (ML) tag team to deliver proactive troubleshooting, while significantly reducing mean-time-to-resolution for IT operations. Insights are delivered to cloud-native wired and wireless devices. With the ability to securely leverage big data, city planners and technology leaders can make sure smart initiatives keep pace with the needs of their communities. By prioritizing technology updates to make this possible now, future upgrades will be less burdensome. Automation, AI, and ML bring core strength to modern network architecture, so your smart initiatives can run more smoothly, with less effort.
  1. SD-WAN supports business continuity by providing a universal platform. Heightened security protects sensitive data. High capacity at a low risk facilitates more useful analysis, all while staying within budget. As smart communities grow, staying under budget can be challenging. Centralized configuration and management address all these concerns. It reduces the risk of cyberattacks, enhances application performance, and improves operational efficiency. And as your community’s needs evolve, SD-WAN makes it easier (and less costly) to incorporate new technology initiatives. By covering more ground this way, leaders can reach data-driven decisions faster.

With a modern network, you’ll hit every one of these mile markers. Ready to take on new terrain? Contact Extreme Networks – we’ll help your smart community find its stride.

About the Author
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Cammy Perry
Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Cammy is a Content Marketing Specialist at Extreme Networks, leveraging her expertise to craft thought leadership and engaging content.

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