Kansas City Smarts: City Manager Andy Shively Leverages IoT for Utility Innovation


The IoT Evolution Expo and Smart City Event are coming up fast, and we interviewed our speakers to get a bit of a preview of what to expect from the conferences.

Here, we spoke to Andy Shively, Special Assistant City Manager, City of Kansas City, Missouri, who will be a featured speaker in the following session during the week of education:

Clean Water and Other Utilities: Smart public infrastructure includes the ability to deliver essential services like clean water, dependable power, safe gas, and efficient public lighting. Smarter management of them is the foundation for smart cities. What sensor strategies and frameworks should be put in place for cities to support their citizens and avoid the missteps recently in the news?

Here is a little preview of his thoughts:

IoT Evolution: What will be some key points you plan to hit in your session?
Andy Shively: People are our most important resource. Data, without people, is meaningless—it is only when strategic and smart individuals apply knowledge and experience to data that we are able to impact lives and transform an industry.

In Kansas City, Missouri we are leading the way by using data and technology to realize over a billion dollars of cost savings and efficiencies in the coming years. This is critical as the cost for important wastewater projects is directly paid by citizens. In fact, in 2018 Kansas City will debut the world’s largest smart sewer sensor network which has the potential to impact the lives and health of residents for hundreds of years. This is a critical issue for anyone who works for or with cities because it ultimately impacts your household bill and the future of the next generation.

IoTE: What new insights can attendees expect to take home from your session?
AS: Our nation faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge in funding trillions of dollars of need to improve aging infrastructure in nearly every city in the U.S. Fortunately, water and wastewater industry leaders now have more data and more technology than ever before—it is simply up to those leaders to put that technology to use.

IoTE: Can you identify a few important trends influencing your sector of the IoT which will shape the path of the industry? Why these?
AS: Kansas City will be debuting the world’s largest smart sewer sensor network system in 2018. For our residents, the smart sewer sensor network translates into cost efficiencies. For city leaders this control system provides key data analytics that have the potential to shape billion-dollar infrastructure investments and achieve millions in savings.

IoTE: What are the biggest challenges facing the IoT? What are some important tools needed to overcome them?
AS: A big challenge facing IoT is the ability to store and efficiently analyze large data sets in a way that directly benefits people. A strategic and data-centric smart sewer system has the ability to provide healthier and more reliable services to customers—resources that are critical for economic development and daily living.

IoTE: Which vertical markets have the most to gain from IoT implementation? Which are leading and which are still behind the adoption curve?
AS: Public infrastructure has the most to gain from IoT implementation. The cost to bring America’s infrastructure to sustainable conditions is trillions of dollars. As an industry, we need to embrace IoT implementation as a means to discover better solutions for our nation and our communities.

The water industry is ahead of the wastewater industry with the use and implementation of automated solutions which have been in use for over a decade. The wastewater industry is still developing similar types of smart infrastructure solutions.

IoTE: What session(s) (other than yours) are you most looking forward to attending at the Expo? Why?
AS: Kansas City is the biggest and most connected smart city in North America, but that designation comes with a huge responsibility to make good use of data. I am looking forward to attending “Closing the Data Gap” to discuss this and other similar issues.


Driving your digital roadmap to the future

Kansas City’s 1 Billion Smart Infrastructure Challenge

To join Andy and all our other speakers at IoT Evolution Expo, January 22 to 25 at the Disney Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida, click here to register now.

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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