Capgemini: global demand for sustainable smart cities
According to a new report conducted by Capgemini - surveying 10,000 citizens and more than 300 city officials, in 58 cities - the company found that many citizens are frustrated with their city’s current set up, with an average of 40% who may leave their city in the future due to a variety of pain points including digital frustrations.
The report titled ‘’, highlighted that 58% of citizens perceive smart cities as sustainable and 57% believing that they provide a better quality of urban services. With 36% willing to pay more to have this experience.
However, Capgemini also reports that there are serious challenges when it comes to implementing smart cities in particular - data and funding.
“Capgemini found that only one in ten city officials say they are in the advanced stages of implementing a and less than a quarter (only 22%) have begun implementing smart city initiatives – a particular challenge as two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to live in a city by 2050, with the number of set to rise from 33 today to 43 by . Moreover, there is a considerable global desire for smart cities among citizens, meaning an accelerated approach would be well received.”
Improving urban life
According to Capgemini’s report, sustainability is becoming increasingly important. “Citizens find challenges such as pollution (42%) and lack of sustainability initiatives (36%) a major concern and may leave their city as a result,” stated Capgemini.
“Over the past three years, 42% of city officials say that sustainability initiatives have lagged, and 41% say their cities becoming unsustainable over the next 5-10 years is one of the top five consequences of not adopting digital technology.”
Capgemini also discovered that while smart city initiatives can improve urban services, the benefits aren’t just limited to tangible outcomes, “Citizens using smart city initiatives are happier with the quality of their city life. For example, 73% say they are happier with their quality of life in terms of health factors, such as air quality. However, this drops sharply to 56% among those who have not used a smart city initiative,” noted capgemini, who also highlighted that “more than a third of citizens (36%) are willing to pay to live in a smart city.”
While smart cities can solve some traditional pain points experienced by cities such as public transport and security, there are still challenges when it comes to implementation.
“Data is central to smart city optimization, yet 63% of global citizens say the privacy of their personal data is more important than superior urban services. Meanwhile, almost 70% of city officials say that funding their budget is a major challenge, and 68% of officials say they struggle to access and build the digital platforms needed to develop smart city initiatives. From a citizens’ perspective, 54% think BigTech firms would provide better urban services than those currently in place.”
Matthias Wieckmann, Head of Digital Strategy, City of Hamburg, noted that “when considering a smart city initiative, it is best to start with small uses cases that can be tested before expanding and securing visibility and viability for funding. For city officials early in their journey, smaller solutions will help pave the way faster rather than starting with a big overall solution. It is also easier to find acceptance, support and finance for projects this way.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.