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Cisco exec: Govt agencies need to share data

Cisco's Howard Charney advises govt departments to share more data with each other

Cisco exec: Govt agencies need to share data
Charney: More than half of the value comes from sharing

Government agencies in Dubai should be more willing to share data information with each other, if the emirate is to achieve its ambitions of becoming the smartest city in the world, according to Howard Charney, senior vice president, office of the CEO, Cisco.

Speaking to ITP.net at the Dubai Smart City Forum, held by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, Charney explained that Dubai is in a situation where lots of information is collected, but not much is shared. But to realise the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city technologies, he said, agencies should be willing to share data with each other.

"Our studies show that more than half of the value comes from sharing. I was speaking to this man, he was an engineer, and he was from the healthcare services. And he told me, you're right, we don't share information," he said.

"I believe that all of this intelligence, and all of this willingness, and all the money that's going to be spent, is going to have to be translated into what is the highest-order goal that we have? And in order to achieve the highest-order goal, we're going to have to be more friendly to one another."

However Charney said that, upon visiting Dubai, he had been extremely impressed by the progress that it was making in its journey to becoming a smart city. He said that he had seen other countries embrace smart technologies thanks to event-driven ambitions - such as the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. But with Dubai, he explained, there was no event driving the smart city ambition.

"The difference between Dubai and an event-driven municipality is that I believe Dubai has this insatiable desire to be the best in the entire world," he said.

"It's because the people want this place to excel, and it isn't necessarily event-driven. And that's different. Dubai has got to rank among the places of greatest desire to excel."

In terms of Cisco's role in helping Dubai to become a smart city, Charney claimed that the vendor was hoping to adopt a consultative approach to the technology used in the emirate's smart services.

"You can tell when advice is self-serving. When it's self-serving, it's about I want to sell you this product, or this service, and I'm going to charge you this much money and you're going to pay me," he said.

"So there's a transcending behaviour which has to do with behaving with respect to what's in the best interests of the munipality, and not trying to flog products, services or kit. It's about something else."

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