“The Hype Cycle report released by Gartner every year has attracted much attention from the market and has also become a weather vane for governments and enterprises to make major investment decisions. The reason is that it not only allows CIOs to understand the most high-profile and commercially promising new technologies of the year, but also presents the market popularity of new technologies and the degree of deviation from actual development, thereby helping corporate and government strategic planners. Better assess applications and value perceptions, business benefits, adoption rates, and future innovation directions, as well as leverage proven technologies and identify potential opportunities.
The Hype Cycle report released by Gartner every year has attracted much attention from the market and has also become a weather vane for governments and enterprises to make major investment decisions. The reason is that it not only allows CIOs to understand the most high-profile and commercially promising new technologies of the year, but also presents the market popularity of new technologies and the degree of deviation from actual development, thereby helping corporate and government strategic planners. Better assess applications and value perceptions, business benefits, adoption rates, and future innovation directions, as well as leverage proven technologies and identify potential opportunities.
As the “14th Five-Year Plan” of the country and various provinces and cities has put smart city construction as the focus of future urban development, Gartner also updated and released the latest “Maturity Curve of Smart Cities and Sustainable Development in China in 2020” in August this year. “. This article will detail the latest technology updates so that governments and CIOs responsible for building urban ecosystems can better assess emerging trends and technologies related to smart cities and sustainability initiatives.
2020 Technology Hype Cycle Evaluation Background of Four Issues
When Gartner updates the technology maturity curve every year, it will focus on observing the macro environment related to the market in the past year, including the comprehensive impact of technologies, laws and regulations, policies, and specific events, and then evaluate and adjust the technology maturity curve of the previous year. technical points covered.
The basis for this adjustment mainly comes from four major issues.
The first is standardization. Typical events in 2020 include the official release of the Xiong’an New District’s framework for smart city construction standards. The framework involves infrastructure perception system, intelligent applications, information security and many other aspects. Although the Xiong’an smart city construction model is difficult to be fully replicated by other cities, the release of this standard system framework also has certain reference significance for the standardization of digital version city construction for other cities to build smart cities. In addition, in 2019, Hangzhou released two local standards and specifications for the city brain and government data security management; and in 2020, the Hangzhou Bureau of Justice began legislative work to promote the legislation of the city brain. Nowadays, in China, the construction of urban brains by local governments has become a hot topic and direction. To regulate the construction of urban brains by means of legislation has certain guiding significance for the promotion of urban brains in other cities.
Second, the new crown epidemic. The impact of the new crown epidemic on smart cities is mainly reflected in three aspects. First, the government has accelerated the use of emerging technologies due to anti-epidemic needs, such as artificial intelligence, machine vision, Internet of Things technology, big data analysis or tracking applications based on geographic information systems, etc. The new crown epidemic has provided emerging technologies to some extent. Specific application scenarios are provided, some realistic use cases are provided for the government and the entire smart city ecology, and the value of emerging technologies is demonstrated and verified. Secondly, the epidemic is also a test of the current level of digitalization of smart cities. For example, many cities are promoting the health code, but the speed is different, which reflects the difference in the level of digitalization and data access of the city itself. At the same time, the epidemic will also change the priorities of smart cities in the next stage, such as urban resilience, community, citizen services, and building a smart city ecology.
Third, the emergence of the role of smart city operators. One of the representatives is Shenzhen Smart City Technology Development Group Co., Ltd. – a wholly-owned company of the local SASAC, whose establishment provides an alternative model for smart city construction and management, that is, taking responsibility for the operation of smart cities in a corporatized form, including capital financing, planning, construction, operation, etc. At present, some relatively mature, early-constructed cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, which have developed from the construction stage to the operation stage, are all paying attention to similar trends. The trend of corporatization facilitates the participation of private capital, avoids some limitations of the government in terms of process and organizational structure, and accelerates the innovation of different models.
Fourth, new infrastructure. Cities are a core place for the implementation of new infrastructure. From the perspective of coverage, 5G, new energy, big data centers, artificial intelligence, etc., must be developed in cities with higher population density. In some industrial-oriented cities, the Industrial Internet will become part of the entire smart city ecology to some extent. Of course, high-speed rail and urban rail are essential infrastructures to realize the flow between cities and within cities.
Key technologies added or adjusted in the 2020 technology maturity curve
There are two new technologies that need to be focused on, one is “citizen twin” and the other is “government blockchain”.
Gartner added “digital twin government” to the graph two years ago, focusing on digital twins of city infrastructure and government-specific business processes. In 2020, “twin citizens” will be added to the curve, mainly driven by real application scenarios caused by the new crown epidemic, such as health codes. In fact, digital twin citizens have already had use cases before, such as the social credit system based on financial credit reporting and social behavior, which can be regarded as twin citizen applications in a specific dimension, but this is not a complete twin citizen concept. With the application of health codes during the epidemic, more and richer portrait dimensions have been incorporated into the twin version of citizens, such as health, trajectory, location, and even biometric information. In the future, twin citizens will have a wider range of application scenarios and promote the generation of more personalized and contextualized citizen services and experiences. However, its development premise is based on the perfection of a series of relevant laws, regulations and operational norms such as the ownership, right to use, privacy protection, and security of digital twin data. Before that, large-scale applications will be limited to some specific areas related to social inclusion.
This year, the “government blockchain” was added to the graph, mainly because the blockchain market has undergone phased changes in recent years. The blockchain is divided into two circles: the currency circle and the chain circle. The “currency circle” led the early enthusiasm and opportunities to make profits by speculating on digital currencies. And “chain circle” – technology providers that empower other industries through blockchain face the challenges and dilemmas of scale development: on the one hand, due to the lack of application scenarios with clear needs that can be deployed on a large scale; on the other hand, block chain The chain has not yet established an indispensable and irreplaceable technological position. In recent years, as blockchain technology has been promoted as a national strategy, and when Gartner summarized the top ten emerging technologies last year, it also specifically mentioned the practical blockchain (Practical Blockchain), we believe that the blockchain with practical application value begins to be developed.
For blockchain in government and smart cities, Gartner focuses on the following three directions:
The first is the application of blockchain in the field of people’s livelihood, such as education, employment, pension, targeted poverty alleviation, medical health, commodity anti-counterfeiting, as well as food safety, public welfare, social assistance and other fields.
The second is the combination of the underlying technology of the blockchain and the construction of new smart cities, especially at the infrastructure level empowered by digital technology, such as smart transportation, energy and electricity.
The third is data sharing. It is mainly reflected in two levels: the first is the flow of data between cities, such as the realization of larger-scale interconnection in terms of information, funds, talents, credit reporting, etc., to ensure the efficient and orderly flow of data between cities. The other level is within the city, including across different departments within the government and across industries, forming the exchange and utilization of data within the entire smart city ecology and a larger scope.
The naming changes are mainly aimed at “intelligent connected infrastructure”, previously known as “intelligent traffic management”. The reason for the adjustment is that in September 2019, the State Council issued the “Outline for Building a Strong Transportation Country”, emphasizing the vigorous development of intelligent transportation, the Internet, artificial intelligence, blockchain, supercomputing and other new technologies and the in-depth integration of the transportation industry and infrastructure. And the research and development of new vehicles (including smart cars, autonomous driving, vehicle-road collaboration, etc.). The government’s role in intelligent transportation has also expanded from an intelligent transportation manager to a transportation ecosystem builder. Gartner adjusted the name to “Intelligent Connected Infrastructure” to emphasize that the government needs to fully consider the interaction between the future traffic network and infrastructure and various traffic carrying tools and elements on the road when building transportation infrastructure, highlighting the future traffic The necessity of ecological development.
“Intelligent connected infrastructure” integrates artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cloud, data analysis, autonomous driving, communication and other technologies, and the maturity of these technologies is uneven, so Gartner adjusted it back to the “budding stage”. location point. At the same time, considering that building an intelligent networked infrastructure requires mobilizing the power of the ecology, future standards, as well as collaboration and data exchange will become key factors in determining the development speed of the intelligent networked infrastructure.
Realize point-in-time adjustment of scale deployment
The time point of large-scale deployment has been adjusted in two places, from five to ten years to two to five years, because as the deployment speed increases, the time will shorten.
The first is privacy. In recent years, whether it is network security or privacy protection, domestic laws and regulations have been accelerated and vigorously advanced. Both the industrial field and the government level are implementing data openness. Some governments are already exchanging data and even building data trading centers. Whether at the central government level or the industry level, relevant laws, regulations and codes of conduct will be continuously improved. Combined with overseas practical experience, privacy security is a key factor to be considered in smart city applications and a necessary condition for application implementation.
The second adjustment is data for good. Gartner defines data for good as: transcending organizational boundaries and using data and the insights it generates to improve society. Data for Good will ultimately improve society for the purpose of public welfare and universal benefits. Previous participants had no clear idea of where they were and how to participate. During the epidemic, different applications such as traceability, health codes, and geospatial analysis of epidemic prevention help different participants realize the roles and feasible models that can be played in the process of data improvement, such as data providers, technical tool providers, or service providers. provider etc. The practice of follow-up data for good has greater potential, and can face more social issues, such as epidemic prevention and control, green travel, food safety and other aspects of public services.
Position adjustment on the curve
There are four main techniques for making larger adjustments to the curve position.
The first is network security. The further refinement and popularization of the Cybersecurity Law provides guidance for enterprises and governments to build security and risk management mechanisms.However, due to the lack of safety and risk management mechanisms of Chinese enterprises
The build side is relatively lagging behind, so Gartner believes that the maturity point of cybersecurity will be more than a decade. At the same time, security is often complemented by emerging technologies, whose concepts and categories are constantly evolving. Such as early IT security, network security, to mobile security cloud security, AI security, IoT security, and Cyber Physical Security derived from the combination of IoT, OT and smart city infrastructure. Therefore, the time point of large-scale deployment of security will change with the development of new technologies, and it is generally at a relatively immature level.
The second is digital twin government. Since 2019, in Guiyang, Shanghai, and some other cities, the concept of digital twin has been gradually introduced into some specific application scenarios or local scopes. Although it is not a complete three-level digital twin government architecture (ie discrete digital twins of urban elements, composite digital twins of specific processes, and comprehensive digital twin government), it has also begun to take shape, and people are very concerned about these concepts and their application scenarios. There is also a clearer understanding, which has accelerated the popularization of this technology. The real popularization of digital twin government also depends on the connection of data, including data standards, data ownership, how to integrate between departments, and coordination between departments and ecology. Many non-technical factors involved may affect the implementation of the final technology. .
The third is 5G. Since the license was issued in 2019, China has rapidly led other countries in base station coverage and terminal shipments. Communication technology is highly dependent on standards, that is, the carrying capacity, functions, and characteristics of the constructed network are all defined with the release of different versions. From a purely technical point of view, the current 5G network based on the R15 version is not an indispensable condition for building a smart city. However, at a strategic level, many local governments currently regard 5G as an important part of smart city development. Gartner believes that 5G will eventually become an important component of smart cities in the future, but only if cities and suppliers agree on their goals and timing. First of all, we should pay attention to the release of the version, and secondly, we should pay attention to the readiness of terminals, network infrastructure, and the entire ecosystem and applications after the release of the version. Building a smart city requires not only network connections, but also operational applications based on network connections, which depend on the power of the entire ecosystem, not just network facilities.
The fourth is the government cloud. The focus of domestic government cloud construction has begun to transition from underlying infrastructure construction to information sharing and data fusion. Data fusion in a few relatively leading provinces has developed to a relatively high level, and has begun to implement application deepening and business innovation. The government cloud has been relatively mature on the curve and has reached the stage of large-scale deployment. Gartner believes that the factors driving its development in the future no longer depend solely on the underlying technology, but on the complementarity of technology and policy to promote information sharing, business collaboration, and collaboration between different departments.
Smart city plans are an important part of the Chinese government’s goal of achieving sustainable economic and social development. Gartner’s “Maturity Curve for Smart Cities and Sustainability in China 2020” helps local governments and technology providers evaluate emerging technologies and solutions for sustainable societal outcomes.