As the capacity for analyzing previously unimaginable volumes of data in near real-time evolves, it only makes sense for cities and organizations to apply that data analysis to making operations more efficient.

A recent article on the Environmental Leader website discusses how Da Nang, Vietnam, plans to better manage its infrastructure—and ultimately save time and money—with IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center technology. Da Nang is the fifth-most populous city in Vietnam with about 950,000 residents.

There are two different aspects to Da Nang’s investment in this technology:

1) Water: The city is investing in a better real-time system to ensure water quality. Unlike data analysis/management technologies that are highly visible, this indirectly affects the public, but helps with cost management and ensures public health.

Da Nang will see positive return on investment not only on the dollars saved by better managing and conserving water; it’s also likely to avoid long-term water-supply issues due to its improved ability to visualize supply and demand data.

2) Traffic: These aspects directly affect or assist the public, such as traffic prediction. Traffic management helps ensure that things flow smoothly and provides a complete picture of how the traffic situation in the city can be maintained. The end result, of course, is more efficient travel around the city, and much happier residents and visitors.

Currently, many cities are looking at the expense of these types of operations improvement systems as cost-prohibitive. However, forward-thinking cities need to make this type of investment to ensure they can grow and provide better services in the future. When you look at the tremendous opportunities these technologies create for long-term efficiency savings, the ROI becomes clearer.

For instance, it’s difficult to know what “normal” is until you’re regularly monitoring your water and transportation. When you have technologies in place, cities can truly validate and understand what’s normal for their unique environment, and plan for effective resource management. Conversely, so much of what is used for decision-making today is based on emotions or gut feelings rather than facts—and gut feelings generally leave a lot of room for expensive errors.

By implementing smarter infrastructure management technologies now, Da Nang is more likely to see significant financial savings in the long-term, and is becoming a leading example of how IBM’s “smarter planet” strategy can benefit cities around the globe.


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