While the concept of smart cities is still in its infancy, Robert Linsdell, ANZ MD of critical infrastructure firm Vertiv, has warned that it will eventually gain significant traction, and businesses and government need to be prepared for it.

Linsdell said the extent of smart cities initiatives to date only revolved around data collection and storage, which means the infrastructure required is as yet quite minimal.

“At the moment what’s tending to happen is… some cities are doing it better than others. But it’s all relatively high level, like water sensing, people movement, smart bins,” he said.

However, Lindsell expects this will soon shift. He predicts the infrastructure will become a much more major component when the data that is currently being collected will be used to make decisions, which will require low-latency high bandwidth plus additional storage and compute.

“You have to think even that even though we don’t know what the end game is, you need to think of some degree of resilient and future proofing of your IT infrastructure needs,” he said.

For example, Vertiv recently worked with Queensland’s Redland City Council to help build a modular datacentre featuring a 10-rack capacity, even though currently it only needs six racks.

“There’s plenty of hype about smart cities and IoT but it’s important to consider what infrastructure you need to pull that off,” Linsdell said. “Redland City understands this, and it is taking the steps now to make sure it can do the exciting part in the right way later.”