Cities looking to use digital technologies to transform the way they function


Cities looking to use digital technologies to transform the way they function

At SAP Innovation Forum the SAP Breakfast Panel around Smart Cities brought together selected academic, industry and public sector experts - each with specific insights into the smart technologies that are changing and shaping future cities. The audience included industry analysts and members of the technology and public sector media.

The Smart Cities theme has moved from the idea stage to the implementation stage and the questions now are around how to make the best use and involve the citizen. Our CFO Christina represented the visual energy analytics part for Smart Cities.

The discussion was around the promotion of digital technology and smart city platforms considering affordability, healthy, green cities and the integration of citizens. The panel also discussed the threat of digital giants like Google or Apple using their strong positions to also dominate the Smart City segment.

In the UK, pollution and CO2 reduction are very much seen in relation to transportation and traffic. Also Public Housing has a clear focus on energy efficiency to solve the issue of energy poverty. In this context, greenhouse gas emissions become more and more a focus - the triggers for that move are often government obligations in CO2 reduction and reporting, citizen expectations in higher quality of life / participation and innovative cities with explicit strategies to become “green” (e.g. Smart City, EEA certifications).

Following these facts, enersis is now including relevant KPIs in its applications especially in those intended for cities and regions. On top of this, enersis has a real business case for the high greenhouse gas emissions (UK 24%) and energy consumption of residential buildings: our SmartHeat software can provide insights into heat consumption, roadmaps for refurbishment measures and the financial feasibility to implement them in a suggested timeframe. Via its easy to understand visualization, our solution displays the biggest levers for more energy efficiency and helps cities to prioritize. It also provides transparency to citizens on what public authorities are doing and builds awareness for how much CO2 residential buildings are producing or eventually saving.

Technology know-how is not necessarily the problem, especially if research entities are involved in pilot projects. A good example is the Salford City Council, a public sector organization which is looking to use digital technology to transform the way cities function. At Salford SAP HANA is already the selected platform and development environment, they now want to share the process development and assets via service provisions with other cities – which could be an approach for the European continent as well.

Around this event we received a lot of interest in the enersis experience with the HANA platform as well as the rollout of our solutions in the energy segment. This and the strong liberalization of the market combined with a rising affinity for digitalization make the UK an attractive target market.