All over the world we hear about doom and gloom of job losses. The opportunity spaces have changed. AI, Machine Learning, IoT, Integrated Systems, Intuitive UI and engaging content is driving a different set of skills required in the industry. Smart Cities are a particularly interesting field where all the above skills needs to be brought together along with extreme practical common sense. Most people are not ready. They attend conferences to get trained. They hear advertorials to get trained. Progress is slow.
The scale and scope of India’s Smart Cities Mission is unprecedented. It encompasses initiatives across the spectrum of city functions and services, across the range of smart and non-smart solutions and aims to touch the lives of citizens from every walk of life. 67 of the 110 cities have received approval for their strategic plans, and are now moving into the detailed planning or implementation phases. New tenders are coming out daily – for work that shall be carried out through the next decade.
The breadth of this challenge will require a lot of integration. Urban planners and architects will need to understand communications and IT technologies. Communicators and community awareness organizations will need to understand urban planning. Communications and IT experts will need to understand new age digital, internet of things and automation technologies. New age urban tech companies will need to understand design and finance. Financiers, venture capitalists and investors must understand not just long term structured finance but also the changing regulatory norms around new technologies that could influence their investment decisions in the future.