Build smarter cities with Oracle

Hyperconnectivity is the future of smart cities. Learn about the technologies and approaches that can unlock greater ROI and improve services across different departments, and your city as a whole.

1 Connected citizens

2 Governance

3 Infrastructure

4 Economy

5 Talent

6 Funding

7 Mobility

8 Public safety

9 Environment

10 Public health

11 Payment systems

12 Next steps

1. Connected citizens

The key to smart city development is connecting citizens, businesses and services. Harnessing the power of data is the key to strengthening that connection, and unlocking value.

Cities are already smart. The people, the businesses, the services, and the buildings are already using smart technology. Today’s municipal services are increasingly data-driven, offering greater personalization, accuracy, ease of use, and efficiency. The technological transformation challenge facing city leaders is not just keeping up with heightened demands and soaring expectations—it’s knowing where to go next.

Using data as rocket fuel

More than 90% of cities are gathering data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. There are more than 30 million of these devices in use today, and they service various aspects of government and civil service and produce a phenomenal amount of information. And that’s just one of countless categories of data available to you.

The smart cities seeing the highest ROI are those that are connecting services—and their data—with other departments and outside stakeholders. In fact, according to ESI ThoughtLab’s study “Building a Hyperconnected City”1, 80% of leader cities are working with outside entities to gather data, and 44% are now actively monetizing it.

This is known as hyperconnectivity.

To unlock the full economic, social, environmental, and business value from technology, cities need to morph into hyperconnected urban centers: those that use the latest technologies to transform and interconnect key areas of their ecosystem—from roads to cars, buildings to energy grids, citizens to government, and cities to cities.” Lou Celi, CEO of ESI ThoughtLab

Of the 100 cities surveyed as part of that report, the average spend on hyperconnected projects was nearly US$45 million. The more advanced the cities were in terms of their hyperconnectivity, the greater the ROI—and hyperconnected leaders achieved returns of up to US$83 million.

The cities that undertake advanced data gathering and integration, and make that data accessible to business and citizens, are creating a “hyperconnectivity multiplier.” It’s this open approach to data—supported by robust data use policies—that’s helping these leader cities achieve higher levels of improved citizen and business outcomes, and ROI.

But hyperconnectivity isn’t something you can achieve overnight. With so much data coming from all manner of sources, managing it securely and intelligently to provide positive experiences and outcomes is a significant challenge. And as services and organizations undergo their own journeys of transformation, you’re charged with ensuring that your city has the tools, policies, and skills in place to securely manage the wider sharing, storage, and use of this data.

Building a better city with data-rich services

The common theme of hyperconnectivity is the presence of an integrated platform design that harnesses the power of data. With this foundational layer beneath them, other emerging technologies can operate to their fullest potential.

Great opportunity lies with citizens themselves. A fundamental concept of smart cities is creating a single front door through which citizens and businesses can quickly and smoothly use services, complete tasks, and resolve issues with the city's relevant authorities or departments. Intelligent routing of requests and the use of contextual information—such as location or time of day—ensures that queries are directed to the appropriate teams or departments with minimal friction or input from individuals.

The creation and use of hyperconnected services is so vital that almost a third (32%) of cities are now appointing chief citizen experience officers (CCXOs) responsible for the end-to-end experience of all citizens. Taking a top-down approach to service design ensures that your citizens enjoy a consistent experience across different channels within the same service—websites, email, call centers, apps—and also maintains continuity as they interact with different services across your city.

Oracle is helping city leaders create environments that can improve outcomes for citizens and the collective prosperity of their cities. But knowing where and how to begin is the challenge many city leaders face.

Our focus on partnerships and collaboration, access to technology partners, and unrivalled expertise in data enables cities to grow, keep pace with expectations, and compete with other cities in the global village.

Exploring the opportunities in your city

In the coming chapters, we address the smart city priorities established in the groundbreaking research report “Smarter Cities 2025: Building a Sustainable Business and Financing Plan”2 by ESI ThoughtLab. Read on to learn how cities are using cloud computing, data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and advanced technologies to realize measurable, sustainable returns in the areas of:

At points in the following chapters we also refer to findings from the ESI ThoughtLab research report “Building a Hyperconnected City.” The research consulted 100 cities, which were categorized as:

  • Implementer: A city that is making strides and investments to interconnect its urban ecosystem
  • Advancer: A city that is making progress on interconnecting its urban ecosystem and realizing benefits
  • Leader: A city that is ahead of most peers in interconnecting its urban ecosystem and seeing significant economic, business, and social benefits.

ROI figures were self-reported by the surveyed cities and represent the return on various projects.

They should be used as a means of comparing the return between different areas of smart city development. Total figures are an average across all cities participating in the study.

For each smart city priority, we reference a number of data-driven services that can help you power a new level of community engagement across these areas of development.

Some are end-to-end solutions designed to improve a specific industry or service, while others are more modular and work across a wide range of scenarios and applications.

1 ESI ThoughtLab, “Building a Hyperconnected City”, November 2019
2 ESI ThoughtLab, “Smarter Cities 2025: Building a Sustainable Business and Financing Plan”, November 2018

2. Governance

Smart cities with good governance follow best practices and comply with standards to realize their vision. City leaders can use modern technology to better meet the responsibilities and needs of businesses and citizens—from planning to delivery.

Creating consistency and transparency

Moving governance and regulatory operations to the cloud benefits all stakeholders. And when you fully embrace digitizing your governance, you can benefit from being closer to the citizens and businesses that are the heartbeat of your city.

ESI ThoughtLab research3 revealed that businesses are looking to better engage with civic leaders. The top areas where they’d like greater involvement are the processes around planning decisions (47% of businesses), reducing regulatory burdens (43%), offering open data platforms (42%), and updating regulations to allow innovation (42%).

A digitally enabled platform gives you greater transparency over governance and boosts community development. From consulting the public on proposed plans to licensing publicly collected information for business use, you can create an environment in which businesses can readily seize the opportunities in a way that is easy, intuitive, and offers greater process transparency.

Ensuring ease of access

Implementing omnichannel customer experience platforms will fundamentally change the way citizens and businesses can engage with your city and its services—and it’s quick to repay the investment.

The digitization of processes and communication channels isn’t just better for citizens—cities that adopt digital payment processes are seeing an average ROI of 4.7%. And the greater the adoption of digital citizen services, the higher the ROI.

By far the highest ROI related to governance can be found through digital tax filing, with leader cities seeing returns of 7.1%.

In Kenya, tax delinquency was a major revenue problem. But since Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud were introduced, agents have been able to respond to queries from an array of channels within minutes rather than weeks. Now citizens can pay their taxes on time, with a 26% increase in tax returns being filed by the deadline within the first year of using the cloud-based platform.

Removing barriers to development

Combining the easy interaction of the Oracle Citizen Services solution with our Community Development application will help you engage businesses, citizens, and local interest groups in shaping the future of their city.


City of Vallejo

Our citizens expect more from their government than ever before. Transacting with us needs to be easy, intuitive, and connected. Public agencies must meet these evolving needs without being limited by our own systems and capacity.

Oracle is a true partner for us, making it easier for our staff to install, manage, and modify these new systems while also ensuring both the systems, and the people who operate them, are future-proofed.” Anne Cardwell, Assistant City Manager, City of Vallejo

When it comes to getting projects off the ground, the Oracle Business Licenses solution can streamline and simplifying permit applications and licensing payments, helping you build stronger relationships with businesses, citizens, and communities. Digital governance is also a great way to demonstrate the good work you’re doing elsewhere in the city.

With dashboards and portals for reporting the performance of departments across your city, citizens can better understand how their taxes are being used and provide feedback about the issues that matter to them.


City of Fort Wayne

City of Fort Wayne supports its community by bringing the voices of citizens to the essential city departments that serve them. With Oracle Service Cloud, enquiries and requests are routed seamlessly between the 23 departments, providing true omnichannel engagement and great service.

Reporting and scoreboards for each department provide greater transparency, while monthly performance meetings with the mayor strengthen executive investment in technology.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

3 ESI ThoughtLab, “Smarter Cities 2025: Building a Sustainable Business and Financing Plan”, November 2018

3. Infrastructure

Smart cities need to find ways to modernize the traditional building blocks of the city—clean water, safe roads, adequate power—and upgrade their digital capabilities.

Laying foundations for the future

Globally, city infrastructures are at a crossroads. Currently 54% of the world’s population live in cities, but that will rise to 68% by 2050. That’s 7 billion people.

As populations explode and demands increase, your city will be under greater pressure than ever before. Transportation, buildings, water, electricity, telecommunications networks, and more all urgently need upgrading. Coupled with this is the need to create data-rich digital services that can improve citizens’ lives, strengthen communities, and benefit businesses.

Any investment you make in IT infrastructure today must be designed for scalability to cope with the demands of tomorrow—and that includes data-led technology services.

Like many businesses, city IT expenditure has historically focused on “keeping the lights on.” In fact, 75% of IT spending goes to maintenance, and only 25% to innovation. Propping up aging, faltering infrastructure in the short term will compromise your ability to invest in newer, more inventive programs.

Unlocking ROI through data capabilities

To achieve the smart progress that other city leaders have already realized, you need to invest in your IT infrastructure in a way that embraces the digitally connected era and the power of data and analytics.

Research demonstrates that ROI from smart city initiatives will be capped unless you have the right environment to make the most of the data within your city. Through IoT, social media, direct engagement with citizens, and the data that resides within your city’s departments, you have a tremendous amount of sources to draw from.

To fully benefit from the hyperconnectivity multiplier, there are several key data capabilities you need to have in place within your city’s digital infrastructure. The graph shows what these capabilities are, and that for cities with little investment in a data platform, the ROI is negligible. However, the ROI will continue to grow as cities develop across the three stages of smart city maturity.

Ensuring digital identity security

At the point of delivery, your citizens are increasingly using digital identities to interact with a wide array of services and businesses across their city. Your ability to make services personal yet securely available through a single “front door” is fundamental to citizens enjoying a consistent and valuable experience.

However, cyberthreats are a rising concern as attackers become more sophisticated. So one of your first priorities should be to create the data and security infrastructure to support the expansion of digital services in a safe and compliant manner, and protect the private information of citizens.

Cybersecurity is essential for two reasons. First, digital identity is fundamental in a smart city and therefore issues of privacy and trust are key. Second, digital services and the whole city depends on the resilience of its infrastructure.”4 Dr Joan Ricart, Coacademic Director, IESE

Our research revealed that around half of cities are expanding their cybersecurity talent pools to meet the cybersecurity challenge, and in the Talent section, you can learn more about the methods and tools they are using to achieve this goal.

Leveraging the hyperconnectivity multiplier

With a scalable digital foundation in place, the power of data can help you better understand the performance of your physical infrastructure and services. Knowing sooner enables you to act faster. Having the capabilities to easily collect, analyze, and share information between external sources and internal departments offers greater potential for maximizing the value of the data within your city. This boosts the ROI across the board and broadens the scope of what can be achieved in all aspects of city transformation.


City of Izmir, Turkey

City of Izmir, Turkey, has an infrastructure that supports public safety and emergency responses for more than 4 million residents. Oracle helps them integrate previously siloed security technologies, from surveillance to video analytics, to phone and radio record systems, enhancing security and emergency responses.
Read more

Laying the foundations for data-led services

Hyperconnected cities are leading the way in extracting value from the data coming from all over the city and making it accessible to citizens and businesses. Only a modern infrastructure can provide a complete, integrated, scalable, and secure platform—and support a bold, ambitious vision for cities.

Oracle will partner with you to help you solve your city’s unique challenges through cloud solutions. Combining our data expertise with secure cloud capabilities, we help you lay the foundations to deliver valuable, data-led services built on transformational technologies including AI, machine learning, IoT, and blockchain.

Wherever your city is on the change curve, our cloud solutions will help you reduce your IT costs, secure your estate, consolidate and manage your data, and harness the power of a connected platform to meet your present needs and future challenges.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

4 ESI ThoughtLab, “Building a Hyperconnected City”, November 2019

4. Economy

Smart cities nurture new industries, and attract investment. They create a business-friendly environment that never compromises citizens’ needs or their rights.

Achieving the right conditions for growth

To create the foundations for long-term smart city growth, it is crucial to have a strong economic plan that attracts business and investment, nurtures industry development, and establishes local and global trade links. Translating this wider plan into actionable change for the existing services and processes across your city will create a more fertile environment for growth and business opportunities.


Lambeth Council

We moved to Oracle Cloud two years ago to standardize and simplify processes across the Council. We are now creating a digital network within which emerging local businesses can thrive.” Hamant Bharadia, Assistant Director of Finance, Lambeth Council

The Governance section explored how the Oracle Community Development, Oracle Citizen Services, and Oracle Business Licenses solutions can usher in significant administrative efficiencies through simplifying and automating permitting and licensing processes. This transparent, accessible, and omnichannel approach to governance helps governments of all sizes attract, expedite, and foster economic development. As well as helping new businesses to grow, you can offer them greater involvement in the future direction of the city. This all has an accelerating effect on your city’s economy.

Automating and integrating services can provide significant benefits such as productivity gains of up to 47% for city workers, a 43% improvement in the reputation of your city, and a 41% increase in citizen engagement and new business attraction

Making money move faster

The more you can connect everyday services behind the scenes, the simpler and easier things will become for your citizens. Sharing data and operating systems on cloud platforms will reduce inefficiencies in both your costs and the delivery of services, and ultimately provide greater value for your citizens.


City of San Luis Obispo

We chose Oracle because we were confident that the software was going to provide us with predefined processes for the entire city. We want to make sure that every process that the city does is improved within the umbrella of the ERP system.” Vinay Jathanna, Technology Projects Manager, City of San Luis Obispo

Plus, the hyperconnectivity multiplier increases the overall ROI with each service that gains additional value from investment in another. The ESI ThoughtLab research5 showed that implementers received average returns of US$19.6 million from their smart technology investments, while leaders averaged US$83 million.

Planning for the sustainability of investments

As you plan for the future, economic sustainability will be high on the agenda. A great example of this can be found in the way the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) managed the city’s post-Olympics legacy, following huge investment in preparing for the 2012 games. The LLDC began with its back office, implementing a cloud ERP system from Oracle in just four months so it could immediately begin managing and reporting on the success of its projects.


The London Legacy Development Corporation

The London Legacy Development Corporation was created after the London 2012 Games to transform Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a viable tourist attraction, and more importantly into a catalyst for the regeneration of a forgotten part of London.

The 2012 Games were the most expensive in history at the time—weighing in at a healthy US$16 billion. What the LLDC has done in the years after the games is widely regarded as a gold standard for host cities when it comes to making their Olympic investment pay longer-term dividends.

Read more

Successfully repurposing Olympic venues, constructing thousands of new homes, and creating thousands of new jobs was a major development project involving countless stakeholders and partners, and Oracle ERP cloud gave LLDC the support and efficiency it needed.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

5 ESI ThoughtLab, “Building a Hyperconnected City”, November 2019

5. Talent

Smart cities enrich working lives by providing the right conditions to attract, nurture, and retain talent with diverse skillsets and experience.

Investing in people

As you usher in a movement toward hyperconnected services and citizens, you’ll be addressing the changing dynamic of your city’s workforce.

SHRM research reveals that 30%6 of US government agency workers are 55 or older, and the OECD found that the same percentage of central government employees in 13 EU countries will have retired within the next 15 years.7

But in addition to the need to fill roles that are naturally vacated, there’ll be an increasing demand for new skills as your city becomes more connected. Further integration of technology and data into public services—and businesses at large—will fuel a shift in the way human workers interact with digital processes and tools.

Only 46% of cities believe they have staff in place equipped with the necessary skills around data analytics, problem-solving, and strategic thinking. So in addition to recruiting for new talent, upskilling existing employees will be a priority for both private and public sector organizations within your city—especially around cybersecurity and data management.

Attracting and retaining

With Millennials set to account for 75% of the global workforce by 2025,8 their affinity for technology will be a major boost to employers. But for you to capitalize on this, you need to create a working environment that uses the latest tools and practices.

Millennials’ preference for technology elevates their expectations when it comes to the experience of finding a job. Candidates with strong digital skills will be in high demand, so you need to make sure your recruitment process reflects the technological maturity of your city. From acquisition to onboarding, and from skills development to career progression, candidates and employees expect an end-to-end, personalized experience.

Oracle’s Government Workforce of the Future solution will help you proactively connect and engage with the highest-quality sources of prospective talent. It does this by using social- and mobile-enabled processes while enhancing your city's brand.

Oracle cloud technology provides the AI capabilities you need to make finding the best candidates significantly easier, and brings many tangible and intangible benefits.


City of Memphis

The City of Memphis implemented Oracle Talent Acquisition Cloud to help modernize its hiring operations and bring a spirit of innovation to the city. Since 2016, 363 new firefighters and 419 police recruits have been added, resulting in a net gain in officers for the first time in seven years.

By combining improved compensation and benefits, management training opportunities, retention bonuses, and employee appreciation events, the city has reduced attrition among police personnel by 25%.

Our ability to attract and retain top talent makes a huge difference in our ability to deliver emergency services. Essentially, our HR team is taking care of the employees who take care of our citizens.” Alexandria Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, City of Memphis

Read more

Sowing the seeds for future careers

Strengthening the links between businesses and educational institutions is another way of attracting external talent to your city—and the greater the employment opportunities within your city, the greater the draw. In fact, almost half (48%) of leader cities are actively working with local academic institutions on employment programs.

There is a very strong track record of places that attract talent becoming places of long-term success.” Edward Glaeser, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

6 SHRM, “Preparing for an Aging Workforce.”
7 OECD, “Ageing and Employment Policies - Statistics on average effective age of retirement.”
8 Forbes, “What The Ideal Workplace Of The Future Looks Like, According To Millennials”, 2017.

6. Funding

Smart cities don’t let financial constraints limit ambitions. Instead, they spend money in the wisest way across their priority areas and fuel innovation by investing for the long term.

Streamlining services and attracting investment

One of the biggest obstacles to smart city projects is funding. For half of cities with lower income, the high implementation costs and financial constraints represent a significant challenge.

But the bulk of the money will come from taxes, and your citizens will view that as their own personal investment. Using Oracle’s Citizen Services solution to provide an easier and more intuitive experience for citizens when interacting with different city departments and services is a great way to demonstrate the immediate impact of their tax contributions.

Brian Osterloh, associate CIO for the City of Albuquerque, said that when he collects taxes from the people of Albuquerque, he wants to deliver back a service that’s worthy of the hard work citizens put in to earn that money.

So how can you maximize that value?

Making practical, manageable changes to individual departments will help them push their existing budgets further. This also paves the way for the wider adoption of new technologies that will help transform service delivery and yield an increasing ROI as your city moves into the realm of hyperconnectivity.

The average return on investment for hyperconnected initiatives ranges from 3% to 4%.

Flipping the spending

Like every other area that receives budgetary allocation, your IT spending will be under scrutiny. With legacy systems, a staggering 75% of spend goes to maintenance, and only 25% to innovation. Over time, the move to a cloud model can improve that ratio, so more investment can be targeted at innovation and transformation rather than propping up aging and faltering infrastructure.

This will reduce your expenditure on maintenance and sow the seeds for inventive new approaches. Once in the cloud, you can look at more creative ways of serving citizens and better ways of using funding.


City of San Jose

The City of San Jose is an example of how making smarter use of technology within the existing budget has helped engage city workers and citizens alike.

As Sam Liccardo, the City of San Jose’s mayor, explained in 2017, “We'd love to have more money and more employees—we simply don’t. So we need to be able to leverage great technology to make our employees more effective.”

One of the ways this is achieved is through the My San Jose app—developed using Oracle’s Citizen Services solution—which gives people all over the city an easier way to take a more active role in the monitoring of community cleanliness and safety.

Another example of finding more money from within, can be seen in the City of London, UK.


Lambeth Council

Needing to deliver innovative mobile services to its staff, residents, and businesses, the London Borough of Lambeth moved to Oracle Cloud. This enabled Lambeth to release valuable real estate back to its community and realize £4.5 million of annual savings.

Using efficiency and automation to realize savings

Moving to the cloud puts your city departments on the front foot. Whenever opportunities arise, your teams will be able to plan and adapt using the latest tools and capabilities.


Main Roads Western Australia

Oracle Cloud ensures we are always up to date and can quickly take advantage of new features. Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service has given the finance team the ability to quickly respond to ever-changing reporting and planning needs with minimal IT involvement.” Damien Kelly, Project Manager, Financial Performance, Main Roads Western Australia

Ultimately, funding is a smart city development priority that will influence—and be influenced by—all others. Some investments will take longer to bear fruit than others, and the extent of those returns will vary.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

7. Mobility

Smart cities are always seeking ways to improve journeys for all, whether that’s cutting emissions, offering convenience with intermodal travel payment, reducing journey times, or introducing priority traffic corridors.

Implementing data-driven transport services

As populations continue to expand, overcrowding puts greater strain on your city’s transport networks and infrastructure. Addressing the issue of public mobility as part of your smart city transformation will yield benefits for not only citizens and businesses, but the environment too.

Despite covering only 3% of the planet’s landmass,9 cities are responsible for 75% of global CO2 emissions.10

So what can you do to ease congestion in your city?

One of the most effective measures you can put into place to improve mobility in your city is real-time traffic management. The ROI is among the highest across all areas of smart city investment, and it is a great example of the hyperconnectivity multiplier.

If you’re at the implementation stage, the ROI on smart traffic management is modest at 1.5%. But for leader cities, this rockets up to 6.1% as more departments and services connect to the data and systems, and share their own information.

Creating safer roads

The benefits of integrating these technologies and data streams touch many areas. Cities report reductions of between 25% and 30% in emergency response times, traffic deaths, travel costs, congestion, and vehicular accidents. Businesses also benefit, reporting a 32% improvement in productivity, delivery timings, and ecommerce.

With a heavy emphasis on IoT and geolocation data capabilities, Oracle’s Digital Field Service and Digital Logistics solutions can play a significant role in the back-end monitoring and analysis of data streams from traffic cameras, smart motorways, municipal vehicles, and more. AI and machine learning capabilities can then manage situations in real time, and Oracle’s Citizen Services solution lets you provide a user-friendly front-end experience that alerts motorists, commuters, and city visitors of issues that may impact their journeys.

Providing mobility as a service

Public transit is another area that can offer a significant ROI through the introduction of data-driven digital services that sit atop existing physical infrastructure. Benefits from such initiatives in other cities have improved on-time arrivals by 33%, contributing to an overall improvement in passenger satisfaction of up to 38%.

But how can you make these improvements?

The growth of mobility-as-a-service providers in markets is creating more choice for passengers, but also more complexity. Fragmentation of routes often forces passengers into using several different modes of transport—from different providers—to get across a city. Individually purchased tickets for each portion of the journey represents poor value for citizens and greater operational costs for providers.

Oracle's Frictionless Intermodal Transit solution lets you bring together different mobility-as-a-service providers to offer multimodal frictionless etickets. This helps passengers cross modes on a single booking and get the best prices available. Supporting digital identities and payments with apps built on the Oracle CX platform lets you use digital profile information to optimize services based on preference, pricing, and route information across modes.

This is another area where the ROI from digital payments solutions is compelling. They return as much as 6.5% when used in conjunction with digital transit apps—and further demonstrate the hyperconnectivity multiplier.

Providing reliability and value

Improving the fleet management of public transport vehicles through predictive maintenance is another area of investment that yields significant returns. Oracle’s Digital Logistics solution provides a nimble and scalable way to monitor sensor data, assets, cargo, and equipment, offering businesses real-time data insights into the wear and tear of equipment.



Cotral—a public transport operator in Rome—is using data gathered from onboard IoT sensors to personalize the passenger experience while improving the maintenance and pollution levels of its fleet of 1,600 buses.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

9 Global Rural Urban Mapping Project, Columbia University Earth Institute.
10 United Nations Environment Programme.

8. Public safety

Smart cities need to explore new and different technologies in the drive to reduce crime, and improve time to response.

Creating safer public spaces

In both emerging and advanced markets, physical and digital security is the #1 priority for city leaders. And as your city becomes increasingly connected with data-rich digital services, the importance of cybersecurity will only grow. Creating an environment of connected services that utilize digital identities for personalization and efficiency will require powerful preventative and detective security controls.

At the platform level, you need robust database security coupled with the scalability to incorporate new services and data streams over time. You also need a workforce trained to manage this aspect of your city’s digital infrastructure.

In the past three years, most cities have increased funding in cybersecurity by 1% to 10%, with more than a quarter of cities investing even more. This is expected to increase at a sharper rate in the coming three years as cities expand their talent pools to bring in these skills and develop them among existing employees.


City of Atlanta

Following a high-profile cyberattack, the City of Atlanta moved its business processes to the cloud to mitigate the vulnerabilities exposed by the hybrid integration required between various on-premise applications, and other cloud-based applications.

As well as reducing maintenance and risk, the move is expected to save the city US$17.5 million over 10 years, compared to the previous on-premise approach.

We decided the risks associated with maintaining the integrations were just too great. Three months into our hybrid cloud implementation, we realized moving entirely to the cloud would provide more benefits and less risk for the City of Atlanta, as well as the water department and Atlanta International Airport, since they also used the Oracle E-Business Suite applications for finance, procurement, and HR." John Gaffney, deputy chief financial officer for the City of Atlanta

Ensuring safety and protection

From crime to public health emergencies and environmental disasters, there are many challenges to consider when it comes to the physical safety of your citizens. The highest ROI for smart city initiatives in this area can be found through solutions that harness AI, IoT, and data-monitoring capabilities.

Oracle’s Citizen Services solution incorporates Oracle Analytics Cloud to integrate data from IoT devices, operational databases, and other sources. This can help officials and safety officers in your city to identify ways to respond faster and more effectively to community issues.


City of Buenos Aires

In the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Digital Field Services are being used to improve public safety by fixing broken sidewalks faster. By gaining visibility into the problems sooner, work begins more quickly and efficiently.

Field technicians now receive jobs and orders on their mobile phones, giving them the ability to get work done more efficiently, handling as many as 60 pedestrian activities per day. Overall, this has resulted in annual savings of US$40 million, without cutting staff.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

9. Environment

Smart cities address waste management, air quality, and energy use. And they confront the causes of environmental impacts and climate change.

Helping your citizens help your city

From monitoring air and water quality to intelligent waste management, smart city solutions geared toward improving the environment can have the added benefit of improving citizen well-being. But just like other smart city projects, you need to balance investment with initiatives that will bring a material return.

Omnichannel engagement can improve the condition of the environment and public spaces in your city. Your citizens can raise alerts—using the audio and video capabilities of their smartphone—which are routed to the appropriate teams, so your city can mobilize the workers and resolve environmental issues much faster.


City of Albuquerque

Using Oracle Citizen Services, the City of Albuquerque has configured its 311 government services platform to integrate with the latest consumer technologies—such as Alexa—offering true omnichannel citizen services.

Now citizens can report issues verbally, and voice analysis and AI ensure that the necessary follow-up questions are asked before data intelligence routes requests and notifications to the appropriate departments for action.

Reducing air and water pollution

Damage to your transport and utilities infrastructure can also affect the environment. At a time when half the world’s urban population is exposed to air pollution levels more than two and a half times beyond the World Health Organization’s safety standard,11 predictive maintenance can bring improvements to public health by reducing emissions from faulty machinery and equipment.

IoT solutions can now help you remotely monitor assets—from water and sewer lines to buses and trains—to track their performance and wear. Oracle’s Digital Logistics solution provides predictive analytics and alerts before failures occur, and recommends the most appropriate course of action.

In terms of a monetary return, this is an area that requires some perseverance. Implementer cities don’t report any ROI, but it rises sharply to 4% in leader cities through the hyperconnectivity multiplier.



Using Oracle’s Digital Logistics solution, Cotral—a public transport operator in Rome—is gathering data from onboard IoT sensors. Predictive maintenance, powered by real-time insights into the wear and tear of its 1,600 buses, has reduced the company’s contribution to city pollution.

Dealing with forces of nature

But not all environmental hazards are directly attributable to human actions. Many cities have to deal with extremes in weather that can cause major disruption to daily life. Some seasonal activity can be easier to predict, but when these known fluctuations are combined with more spontaneous events, the effects can be devastating.


City of Buenos Aires

The City of Buenos Aires, Argentina stands on the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Tidal variations make flooding a frequent occurrence, and a problem that is exacerbated by severe storms. Following a significant episode of flooding in 2013, city officials installed a vast network of sensors across the underground drainage system to completely change the way the city copes with major weather events and the onset of potentially hazardous flooding.

By analyzing the readings from the sensor layers configured to measure rainfall and water levels, city experts gain crucial insight into the causes and early warning signs of flooding.

Armed with a deeper understanding of the cause, effect, and measures of control against flooding, the city was able add a new drainage infrastructure and new maintenance programs.

Read more

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

11 WHO, “Air quality deteriorating in many of the world’s cities”, May 2014

10. Public health

Smart cities must create health-supportive environments. That includes meeting basic sanitation and hygiene needs, enabling access to healthcare, and improving the quality of life.

Connecting citizens with caregivers through the power of data

Citizens are demanding more-personalized and accessible healthcare. From detecting early warning signs of ill health in individual patients to the way public areas are monitored to ensure safety and sanitation, there are many ways you can improve public health in your city.

The most highly adopted application of smart city technology in public healthcare is remote patient monitoring, with 88% of leader cities deploying solutions in this area. From a funding sustainability perspective, it represents an average ROI increase of 4.3% across all cities, rising to 6.5% in leader cities.

Other popular and successful initiatives within smart cities are first aid alerts, environmental air-quality monitoring, and data-based public health interventions.

How effectively you can bring these benefits to your city will depend on your ability to connect people and data.

For patients and clinicians, Oracle’s Citizen Services solution provides an easy and secure interface for them to access information, connect with each other, and reduce unnecessary travel. Family Assist from Public Health West Sussex Council is a great example of how the functionality of Oracle Service Cloud can help your city provide sound professional advice with a huge range of functionalities.


West Sussex County Council

The great thing is that we can try to tailor services from minus nine months, all the way through to 25 years, so we can target essential information that parents need at certain periods throughout their child’s life.” Kelly Pierce, Consultant Midwife in Public Health West Sussex County Council

Providing support networks for the vulnerable

For citizens who rely on government welfare and benefits assistance in their daily lives, you can help providers improve the way these programs are managed and delivered.

The Oracle Case Management solution supports end-to-end process flows—including complex financial requirements—and increases transparency and data utilization between the required agencies and departments, enabling greater efficiencies through automation.

By streamlining the interactions between applicants, assessors, and the third-party service providers who support government programs, you can make it easier for those requiring help to get the assistance they need.

Connecting caregivers with cases

Greater sharing of data between government and municipal agencies enables wider collaboration and improved levels of service for citizens. Taking child welfare as an example, caseworkers can access disparate information from a range of records and sources. Accessible from mobile devices, they can upload information remotely during visits, and cloud analytics helps them make more-informed decisions, improving outcomes for families.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

11. Payment systems

Smart cities should be moving towards digital payments to help improve transparency, strengthen financial controls, minimize fraud, and increase revenue.

Enabling faster commercial transactions in cities

Due to the often transactional nature of services, many smart city initiatives will receive a further ROI boost from the incorporation of smart payments capabilities.

As a fundamental part of removing the friction from daily life and business, including digital payment capabilities as part of your overall citizen services offering will add value across the board.

For example, if your city can accept smart payments for the millions of public transport journeys undertaken each day, you’ll remove the huge inefficiencies—and the spread of germs—associated with taking cash payments from passengers.

It’s an improvement to a specific experience for your citizens, and it increases the speed and volume of return from your investment in transit services.

Reducing the cost of the informal economy

The volume of physical cash payments within the informal economy leads to a shortfall in the amount of tax revenues that should rightfully be collected. This, along with the flow of money through illegal routes such as drug dealing, prostitution, and bribery, comprise almost 25% of GDP in cities at the beginning of their transition to smart status.

The more mature your city is in its adoption of smart payments, the greater the reduction in the impact of this shadow economy.

Smarter payments for smarter services

When it comes to licensing and permits, Oracle’s Business Licenses solution simplifies and streamlines the entire lifecycle of doing business with the city. It’s also built on a shared platform with Oracle’s Community Development solution, providing greater opportunity for you to include smart payment functionality as part of a smoother experience. Having an integrated back-end system connected to the various departments and financial teams across a city can expedite payment collection, accelerating business development.

And from the perspective of citizens, creating a single portal for digital transactions will greatly simplify the collection of municipal fees, taxes, fines, and other payments. Consolidating transactions in a single platform removes the need for financial information to be scattered across multiple locations, strengthening security.

Owing to the ubiquity of transactions among most services within your city, the ROI for smart payments is very high. In leader cities, digital payments as a whole yield a 6% ROI, while the more specific use case of digitalized tax filing brings an ROI of 7.1%.

Smart payments that allow citizens and consumers to complete transactions instantly and directly will no longer be merely nice to have, but a prerequisite for successfully achieving an ROI.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.

12. Next steps

Achieving hyperconnectivity isn’t an overnight change. But we’ll help you get started with the technologies that are crucial to making your city smarter.

It’s clear that the more advanced you become as a smart city, the greater the ROI you can expect to see. We’ve shown examples across all city priorities of how adopting a data-led approach to transformation is the key to maximizing the hyperconnectivity multiplier.

The opportunities are there across your city. So whichever smart city priority you choose to address next, we are here to help you

Assess stakeholder

Ensure alignment with stakeholders’ priorities and give them input to gain their buy-in.


Cities are often held back due to political challenges, cybersecurity worries, inertia, or uncertain ROI.

Fully leverage

Make sure you are analyzing, and integrating a wide array of data and making it accessible to stakeholders.


Most cities, especially smart city beginners, are not well prepared for cyberattacks. As cities move more services online, risk and complexity increase. Integrate cybersecurity early into your planning.

Keep pace with
digital innovations

Make sure you don’t fall behind on core technologies, like cloud and mobile apps, or emerging ones such as AI, IoT and blockchain.

Lay the IT

Install the broadband, shared architecture, and social scaleable systems, as well as the processes and standards, needed to support smart initiatives.

Draw on digital

Cities can partner with technology providers and universities or outsource development and implementation.


Successful cities are allocating about 15% of their operating budgets and 17% of their capital budget to smart city programs.

For more information on Oracle products and solutions please visit our Smart Cities page or contact us to reach your local Oracle representative.