As the IBM Smarter City campaign emerged in 2010, the IBM software team in China was looking to expand to the tier two cities within the country. Normally, these tier two cities have a very weak IT infrastructure and no IT business to supply what is needed to improve infrastructure. Many of these cities’ industrial bases were just in manufacturing. The city government leaders realized they needed a strong IT infrastructure to support existing businesses as they grow and to attract new businesses and industries to their city.
For IBM to work with the cities, it had to develop a strong partnership with the city government officials and provide a strong ecosystem to build IT solutions. The ecosystem must be located in the city for the government to promote local companies to run the IT businesses and services on it. When the local companies are growing, it means the IT industry in that city is growing, too. Therefore, the city government is willing to invest in this kind of transformation. The governments know they can realize a return on their investment from increased tax revenue paid by these growing and new businesses to cover this expenditure.
One way for the tier two city governments to realize a return on investment faster was to develop a cloud solution that would give the cities the IT infrastructure they needed to work faster and smarter, developing and growing by attracting businesses from multiple industries. Building on the technical expertise in cloud and the momentum of Smarter Cities, I developed a cloud architecture and solution named Smarter Cities Cloud. This solution was proposed to the Foshan, Liaoyuan, Lanzhou, Xuzhou and Xiangyang’s government cloud projects. The architecture can be customized based on the specific cities requirements enabling IBM to offer multiple IBM software products as part of the solution.
The architecture that I developed has two main components:
- The Cloud Platform is the foundation that can be built based on the needs of the individual cities. It uses several IBM products, such as IBM Software Delivery Manager, IBM Workload Deployer, WebSphere Virtual Enterprise, IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, IBM SmartCloud Monitoring, Cast Iron, WAS, DB2, Worklight and MQ Message Broker.
- The Smarter City Applications can be snapped into the foundation of the Cloud Platform. Depending on requirements, it can include BAO solutions with BA products such as SPSS and Cognos, commerce solutions with WebSphere Commerce and Sterling, social solutions with Lotus Domino and Lotus Connection, and business process solutions with WebSphere BPM or FileNet.