Market forecasts paint a rosy picture of smart city investment, but many municipalities are slashing budgets, laying off workers and cutting services as the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues. To adapt to the budget shortfalls resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, smart city efforts must be more strategic, said Ruthbea Yesner, vice president of Government Insights and Smart Cities at IDC Government Insights.
“We have to be really strategic with our plan and our investing because we just aren’t going to have any wiggle room in terms of money,” Yesner said. “Then the question becomes what are the foundational tools that you need to start to think about for resiliency — and let’s take away contingency planning, disaster recovery, backup plans, redundant data centers, having a readiness response, a risk management response. I think that’s all what everyone thinks of when they think of business continuity. You have plans to continue operations if there’s an emergency. What does that mean in light of COVID?”