The smart city concept is a framing device for many of society’s most important conversations about globalization, technology, and the environment, which is driving investment across a range of city services and infrastructure. As the supplier ecosystem for smart cities continues to expand, established suppliers are moving into the market from the energy, transport, buildings, and government sectors, while startups are addressing a range of emerging opportunities. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the global smart city technology market is expected to grow from US$8.8 billion annually in 2014 to more than US$27.5 billion by 2023.
“Cities are seeking partners and suppliers to collaborate on ambitious programs for sustainability, innovation in public services, and economic development that depend on significant technology investments” said Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. “The leading players in this market not only have the capacity to provide leadership on large-scale projects spanning multiple city requirements, but they are delivering smart infrastructure, IT, and communications solutions to cities, supporting cities across multiple operational and infrastructure issues, and have established a global presence.”
The leaders in the market, according to the report, are IBM and Cisco, which are ranked the highest in terms of strategy and execution and are continuing to build on their early leadership in the market. IBM combines a pragmatic approach to city engagement with its development of smart city platform solutions, while Cisco’s partner network provides an important source of innovation in the market.