Smart City guides smart decisions

What is a Smart City? How it is different in planning or for the people that live there? What “smartly built” or “smartly behaving” cities offer to sustainably? Is “smart” equal to eco-friendly or is sustainability more important than the absolute “smartness” of the city?

Smart cities differ from “normal” cities in their ability to predict – and maybe to be a proactive platform for services. They offer quality-of-life and happiness for their residents. When inhabitants find a problem (for example with day-care, schools, roads, safety etc.), the city is expected to react and fix it. And with lots of requirements, the cities need to prioritise their efforts and preferably find out the problems already before they are pointed out by the people.
 “Scenario: Our preferred day-care close to our home is fully booked. The city offers an alternative day-care near my workplace. They provide detailed information on how I can take my children there – using a bus and a monthly ticket is the cheapest option. Another affordable and eco-friendly alternative is a bicycle with a child carrier. All the information above I received through my CityApp. We did not even have to apply for day-care, we only gave access to the city to our MyData and received these personalised services.”
In that scenario, two things need to be solved:
1)    Data collection and utilisation
The city is required to gather, use and offer data as a service for various apps and solutions. Before that, it is required to understand what data is needed, what data exists what needs to be generated – and how those data can be utilised to serve the citizens.
2)    User consent
To be able to receive personalised service, the user must share some of their personal data. Through MyData, personal information can be shared in a controlled manner. Combining personal data with anonymised wider data sets is an efficient way to provide well-targeted services for individuals. The handlers of the data, i.e. the cities must be conscious of data security and prevent the misuse.
Cities will face remarkable challenges in the near future with continuous growth in population and people density combined with carbon-neutral sustainability requirements. To tackle such challenges, cities must be smart in their data and knowledge-based city planning and providing sustainable services proactively to the citizens. Gofore is working on such solutions with various cities, as well as governmental organisations.

Gofore Case: City of Helsinki education division communication system

The city of Helsinki has started a project to develop communications between the authorities and families having children in day-care or at school – and to develop city services, using data and AI. Within the project, the services are developed proactively, and related data is applied widely. The development is open-sourced to guarantee easier response for future requirements. The overreaching objective is to serve the families with same data and applications from day-care requirements throughout the high schools.

In this project, Gofore is responsible for user experience design and software development of the communication system between the families and authorities.

See also another reference of City of Helsinki

City of Espoo reference
City of Vantaa reference

Gofore Case: X-road

X-Road is an open-source data exchange mechanism that enables reliable and secure data exchange between different information systems over the Internet. As a highly interoperable and centrally managed distributed data exchange layer, it provides a standardised and structured way to integrate different types of information systems and to produce and consume services. It is an easy, cost-effective, reliable, secure, well-supported and tested solution for enabling Smart City solutions. X-Road technology is used nationwide in the Estonian public administration and in the Finnish Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer service.
Gofore has delivered Finnish X-Road implementation and various services into Suomi.fi portal. The development continues. Additionally, Gofore is a publicly procured X-Road core developer for Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS) and currently the only Gold level X-Road Technology Partner.
“Scenario: City planner uses Chatbots for planning a new neighbourhood in the city. AI behind the Chatbot gathers and analyses invaluable data for the planning from the discussions with the citizens. When the planning proceeds, the Chatbot notifies people that have shown interest or are living in the areas affected by the planning. City planners have this efficient, all-knowing colleague supporting them at their work. They predict planner needs and help to formulise and iterate for detailed enough information through citizen engagement.”
Cities are service organisations for their inhabitants and visitors – as well as a productive and lucrative working environment for civil servants. Digital technology is an enabler, with services and solutions required to be very human-centric. A smart city does not mean that people would not have to do anything, but in order to be smart, the city is expected to ease our life by providing easy choices and proactive, well-targeted proposals.
In Finland, there is an ongoing project, called “AuroraAI” that aims to implement an AI boosted operational model that is based on peoples’ and companies’ needs to utilise various services in a timely and ethically sustainable manner. Combination of services from various sources support peoples’ life-events and companies’ business-related events, facilitating seamless, effective and smoothly functioning service paths throughout the process. This provides people with a new way of taking care of their needs and overall well-being. Simultaneously, the system will promote service providers’ to form dynamic, customer-oriented service chains in collaboration with other operators and to manage their activities based on up-to-date information. Gofore is working within the programme to create such multi-disciplined for the inhabitants in Finnish cities.

Gofore case: Chatbots

Artificial intelligence makes Netflix recommend programmes for us and Facebook automatically tags recognised friends in photos. A robot car could not drive without machine learning. But can artificial intelligence also help ordinary office workers? Yes, it can. We have developed three intelligent chatbots that help people perform many essential everyday tasks effortlessly.

SeppoGranny and Gene are text-based conversational chatbots that operate in the Slack instant message environment frequently used by Gofore employees. Seppo is the veteran of the bunch being originally developed in 2016. Seppo was born out of a real need: Seppo fulfils, or actively prompts Gofore employees to realise administrative tasks that nobody is keen to do but which are very important for keeping the self-guided organisation going. For example, Seppo prompts for unreported working hours, or advises an employee to take a break if they work too much. Based on the good experiences with Seppo, we have developed additional chatbots to help with everyday routine tasks. Gene, for example, makes a complicated flow of booking train tickets and reporting travel expenses in a simple conversational manner. Granny, for her part, is a laid-back office advisor, who can be consulted on general matters regarding the company.
Read more about the bots
What can be done to grow the intelligence of the cities? Meet us in Smart City Expo 2019 and let’s figure it out. Event details can be found here.
 

Simo Turunen

Simo Turunen

Simo develops building environments and smart cities at Gofore by utilising data and listening to users. Digital transformation continuously shapes real estate, construction business and city planning ways of working. Data offers huge possibilities for better and predictive city construction. Change can be committed in a controlled manner and this is what Simo wants to work forward.

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Trust me – I Have e-Identity

In an episode of America’s Got Talent, an aspiring stand-up comedian puts on a despondent expression and sighs “I had my identity stolen. It’s okay. They gave it right back.” That’s funny, right? Except for the fact that in the real world it isn’t funny at all. Your identity is your cultural, familial, emotional, economic, and social anchor, at the very least. So, if your identity is stolen, you don’t get it back just like that. It’s a personal integrity catastrophe that’s very hard to recover from. 

eID Forum 2019 in Tallinn 

eID Forum 2019 – Shaping the Future of eID took place on 17 and 18 of September in the lovely Hanseatic city of Tallinn. The aim of eID Forum was to bring together representatives from the public (governments) and private (industry) sectors. They achieved a presence of more than 300 participants from 34 countries to share ideas and emphasise the urgency of facilitating trustworthy civil and business digital transactions across national boundaries. 


The Forum focused on high-level overviews of the processes and technologies used to develop contemporary eID solutions. We noticed a technology-centric focus and marketing of ready-made solutions. The focus topics for this year were:

  • a cross-border digital standard for mobile driving licences,
  • the future of digital borders, and face recognition and its use cases in airports, and
  • interoperability.

Should you be able to identify yourself or just your right to drive?

Huge efforts are being made to standardise driving licences that can exist in a form other than paper or plastic. But first, what is an eID (e-Identity)? An eID is a unique and immutable digital proof of identity for citizens and for organisations. One’s eID is a right and cannot be suspended or revoked because it is akin to, for example, one’s birth certificate. While an eID’s core attributes must be fundamentally self-sovereign and immutable, a wide variety of attributes can be granted to it and revoked from it. For example, privileges such as holding a driving licence. And one’s eID must be multimodal for use across a variety of digital identification-dependent systems and communication channels.
In Estonia, one does not have to carry any type of driving licence with him/her; not a physical or a mobile version of it. If it is possible to identify the person, then all the needed information can be checked digitally (the right to drive, having insurance, etc). This data exchange has, of course, to be done in a secure way. In Estonia, these data requests are done over the secure data exchange layer known as X-Road, which Gofore has had a role in developing since 2015.

Challenges with interoperability and rapid technological change

The idea behind eID standardisation and interoperability is that government services become more user-friendly, flexible, convenient, and resilient to many kinds of risks caused by otherwise divergent designs and implementations. But despite the fact that electronic identification is regulated in the EU by eIDAS (electronic Identification, authentication and trust services), its implementation in different countries is progressing at significantly varying speed and scope. There was recurring mention by presenters of the urgent need for eID standardisation, whether it be de jure or de facto, and the need for cross-border interoperability of the various eID solutions already in existence.
At the same time, the main challenges concerning eID are, in our opinion, twofold:

  • Technological advancements for eID (including secure devices and identification capabilities like face recognition) are evolving fast and we do not know how regulation could keep up in this race.
  • Did you know that according to the World Bank Group’s 2018 #ID4D Global Dataset, an estimated one billion people around the globe do not have an identity that they can prove? So for them, provable identity is not just missing in the digital society, it is totally missing. Since they face difficulties in proving who they are, they do not have access to services requiring digital identity. Might we consider having oneself listed in population registers as a human right?

Such fast-paced digital evolution as presented and debated at eID Forum is affecting every organisation in some way or another. We can help you rise to the challenges of fast digital change that you are facing your business domain. We can support you with organisational and technological change. All these consultations are available in Europe or world-wide through your nearest location: Estonia, Finland, UK, Germany or Spain.
References: 
https://www.eidforum.org/
https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/trust-services-and-eid
https://e-resident.gov.ee/
 

Niall O'Donoghue

Niall O'Donoghue

Niall is a secure design best practices advocate, coach and promoter. His experience includes seeding the secure design mindset and best practices for private sector Internet of Things web applications and facilitating threat analysis workshops for public sector web application projects. Niall is also passionate about helping organisations to evolve their overall security maturity.

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Tuuli Pärenson

Tuuli is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of implementing change and digital transformations in both public and private sector. She is skilled in digital government and governance solutions. At Gofore she is responsible for international business development and leadership in Gofore Estonia.

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A book called The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Dr Schwab describes how the fourth revolution is fundamentally different from the previous three. The fourth revolution combines the physical, digital and biological worlds. These new technologies will impact all disciplines, economies and industries.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution demands that CEOs take responsibility for the massive transformation of their businesses and for the extraordinary impact that this transformation will have on wider society.
– Pierre Nanterme, Accenture CEO

Already in 2016 The World Economic Forum at Davos stated that almost half of the jobs in the USA were at risk, because of Industry 4.0. However, Industry 4.0 also has great potential to drastically improve the efficiency of business and organizations and help regenerate the natural environment through better asset management, potentially even undoing all the damage previous industrial revolutions have caused. According to the report issued by Deloitte, over the next decade, the U.S. could be short of 12 million skilled workers. As a result of this, manufacturers are looking for ways to increase manufacturing efficiencies by doing more with less.

What is Industry 4.0


PICTURE 1: Industrial Revolutions
The first industrial revolution brought mechanization through water and steam power. The second revolution was mass production and assembly lines using electricity. The third was the adoption of computers and automation. Now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. It is a fusion of fast technological breakthroughs in the physical, digital, and biological spheres. Technology breakthroughs in fields such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics are significant on their own, but when combined we are talking about the enormous benefits of Industry 4.0.

  • IoT. The Internet-of-Things (IoT) are where devices such as industrial sensors connect to the internet and to each other. IoT requires connectivity. 5G helps the evolution of IoT by improving the interaction between different platforms as well as enabling more devices to become connected.
  • 5G. 5G will recode the whole concept of mobile connectivity. 5G brings a new-market disruption, which opens a completely new blue ocean of opportunities. 5G pushes industries to seek entirely new use cases for connectivity. 5G offers a completely different performance. 5G pushes a shift from the hardware business to the software business. 5G will change how people use and communicate with technology. It will change how different technologies communicate with each other. All this will take place faster and more reliably than ever before. Mobile internet will be faster than ever. High bandwidth and low latency will transform whole industries through new ways of connecting production processes and products.
  • Big Data. There is more data available than ever. As the amount of data increases, new innovations and technologies to utilize the promise of this data are constantly created. Big Data can be filtered and turned into Smart Data. Fast Data aims for real-time data processing, where data is processed when it arrives. In the field of Big Data technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning can be used to analyze the data.
  • Software ecosystems. With 5G, IoT, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, the differentiating factor will be software capabilities. New capabilities are all about thinking outside the box. Ingenuity regarding what can be done with technologies, and how they can be applied to solve tomorrow’s challenges. This is a crucial mindset across every technology-related industry.

Industry 4.0
PICTURE 2: Industry 4.0 is a fusion of fast technological breakthroughs in the physical, digital, and biological spheres. It is not a single innovation, it is all the innovations combined.
The key to achieving the potential of Industry 4.0 is a collaboration between stakeholders from (traditional) industries and technology partners. This requires a new agile mindset and cultural shift. In short, Industry 4.0 will bring a new productivity shift, while smart machines keep getting smarter as they get more data, and factories will become more efficient, productive and less wasteful.

We Are the First Generation that Can End Poverty, the Last that Can End Climate Change.
– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Forbes vs Uros

Markus Meukel from McKinsey & Company dropped big numbers regarding the promise of IoT at the annual Nordic IoT 2019 keynote speech. According to Mr Meukel “IoT is the most impactful technology revolution” creating an estimated 10 trillion annual turnover globally by 2025. Sounds insane, doesn’t it. However, just this week a Finnish IoT company Uros presented its growth figures.
2015: $2,7M
2016: $42,7M
2017: $483M
2018: $1309M
And Uros CEO Jerry Raatikainen stated “What we are seeing now is the IoT market growing; the sector will be huge. We will leap into the year 2022 with the same rate of growth”. Mr Raatikainen is saying that a small technology company from Northern Finland will hit 50 Billion turnover in a few years. This underlines the effect the Industry 4.0 phenomenon offers for large companies. Industry 4.0 will change the game big time.

Industry 4.0 Examples

  • Logistics: Optimize the routes of individual parcels and vessels (car, truck, ship) for efficiency and productivity. Automate everything. For example, Kalmar aims to optimize terminal processes. Zalando to use robots to pick packages. DHL is investing big time in Industry 4.0.
  • Manufacturing: Smart manufacturing is a major application of the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, Fastems provides numerous references, where they have automated manufacturing lines around the world. Another interesting case example is the Bosch factory, where implementing radio-frequency identification-based tool management, embedding sensors to machines and analyzing real-time machine data and inventory, the factory renovated its manufacturing infrastructure and is able to understand and eliminate output losses and predict machine interruptions before they occur. Lean manufacturing principles, which form the backbone of smart factories, are being increasingly integrated into everyday operations. Adoption of lean manufacturing and the transition to data-led practices can increase the competitive edge of manufacturing. To improve manufacturing efficiency, one must backtrack from the customer. In today’s rapid cycle of customer demand, the linear design-manufacture-market-sell process does not increase competitive advantage, because demand forecasting is never as effective as ongoing collaboration. When customers are participating continuously in product design and make updates to their orders, they achieve a more productive relationship.
  • Process Industry: The Industrial Internet offering by Valmet combines process technologies, automation and services, which will turn the benefits of the Industrial Internet into reality. Metso is focusing on providing sustainable solutions for the processing and flow of natural resources by means of Industry 4.0 and Digitalization.
  • Food ProductionAutonomous farming is taking agriculture to the next level. Agriculture 4.0 uses artificial intelligence to analyze the data from satellite imagery, weather forecasts, flying drones and IoT sensors on the field for crop modelling and for precision agriculture. For example, John Deere is pushing the boundaries on what can be achieved in the area of autonomous farming machinery.
  • MiningSandvik AutoMine already provides full fleet automation with automatic mission and traffic control capability. Sandvik OptiMine analytics system creates a transparent model of the mining operations improving efficiency and safety.
  • Business DisruptionRolls-Royce has pioneered a pay-by-use approach in its jet-engine business; other manufacturers have followed. Rolls-Royce has turned from an RnD and manufacturing company to a data analytics company. Some say, that Rolls-Royce started the whole subscription economy of today’s Netflix and Spotify culture.
  • IPR Business: Today, many manufacturing companies have deep expertise in their products and processes but lack the expertise to generate value from their data. SAP offers consulting services that build on its software. Qualcomm makes more than half of its profits from intellectual-property royalties. Manufacturers might offer consulting services or other businesses that monetize the value of their expertise.

We Are Creating a Better Future

Adopting Industry 4.0 technologies will help countries and businesses achieve sustainable growth. Industry 4.0 capabilities will enable faster design, novel products, reduced risks, optimized processes and the elimination of waste. New technologies will contribute to companies’ economic success. But they will also fulfil a social purpose, by contributing towards improving people’s lives. New technologies like artificial intelligence and edge computing can make people’s work less error-prone and create more room for creative tasks. These are technologies that will enable us to stay successful.

Jari Hietaniemi

Jari Hietaniemi

Jari Hietaniemi is an enthusiastic digitalization consultant. He specialises in complex and vast software projects. His philosophy is based on thinking that a consultant must know technology, architecture, project management, quality assurance, human resources, coaching and sales. His versatile experience and constant quest for improvement help to finish projects successfully and to bring new drive into client organizations.

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Businesses must adapt, learn and transform faster than ever to make the most of the changing digital landscape. Gofore helps take on this challenge: together we harness design principles, strategic thinking and rapid execution to create new value and competitive advantage.

Diagram 1: Gofore works on all levels of the business

Gofore helps with creating 5G 

In the Telecom sector, Gofore has successfully helped clients to enable the infrastructure for 5G and the Internet of Things to transform the human experience – globally. Gofore has enriched software development to support proofs of concept and content creation for delivering services provided by innovative solutions, such as AI, analytics, machine learning and big data.
Alongside strategic thinking and technical expertise, Gofore has brought Agile and Lean coaching to the table. “We have integrated into existing strategy work with our iterative approach. We see that strategy is about fast paced delivery, the ability to scale with the help of standardised practises and building a learning organisation. We continuously analyse change to find useful patterns to apply to software development. Our goal is to focus on what could be as opposed to what is”, comments Juhana Huotarinen, Agile Transformation Advisor at Gofore.

Juhana Huotarinen on stage, walking through the Agile transformation ideology
Feedback from one of our global market leading clients says: “For us, it has been important that Gofore has been fully committed and accountable for what we are aiming to achieve. Our collaboration with Gofore is transparent, committed, accountable and supportive. Specifically, we are very satisfied with the Agile methodology and technical expertise Gofore has brought.
In practice, Gofore planned and coordinated a new multi-disciplinary, multi-team, multi-site high performing transformation program including Agile coaches and software specialists. This was achieved largely by creating a permissible culture which encourages collaboration and self-learning. The core competence of Gofore is to make complex things straightforward. Whether that means complex business, organization or technical challenges.

The First Steps of Transformation

We are now starting to see commercial 5G networks scaling up for transforming business and delivering better customer experience. Previous wireless technologies were about connecting people. The new characteristic of 5G is that it has all the ingredients for automating business processes and it is a great technology for business transformation. There surely are challenges to tackle in how to build the capacity in a dynamic and flexible way, how to address operational inefficiencies by leveraging automation/AI and how to increase revenue growth by means of service differentiation and the ability to leverage partners’ ecosystems. Not only with bleeding edge software, but with enabling agile strategy and culture.

Have you taken the first steps to transformation?

5G

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Petteri Mäkeläinen

Petteri Mäkeläinen

Petteri has broad experience in business development, international operations and project management. He has strong interpersonal skills and is skilled to work in a highly collaborative environment. Proactive and professional, Petteri has diverse and strong managerial, collaboration and development skills having worked with a wide matrix of stakeholders. Petteri currently works as a business manager in the Telecom sector

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