Cities and utilities across the US and Canada can benefit from investing in smart city infrastructure and applications.

It seems like a no-brainer—leveraging new technologies to improve city operations and improve the quality of life for residents—but it’s easier said than done. And the bureaucratic process often gets in the way. The time and effort needed to get feedback from key stakeholders across departments, coupled with an overwhelming number of technology options on the market, grinds many efforts to a halt.

To ensure timely progress on your smart city deployment, start at the assessment phase and get a holistic understanding of your city’s current state.

To ensure timely progress on your smart city deployment, start at the assessment phase and get a holistic understanding of your city’s current state. It’s also important to identify areas that can benefit from technology applications, consider how those applications can best meet the community’s needs, and get feedback from a variety of internal stakeholders to ensure that technology investments are worthwhile.

So how do you go about doing this? My colleague Chase Berenson and I recently presented at the fall Smart Cities Connect Virtual Conference & Expo to explain how we helped the city of Ruston, Louisiana, overcome these obstacles. We teamed up with Ruston’s public works manager, Andrew Halbrook, to describe how the city chose the E Source Smart City Assessment tool as a speedy and cost-effective way to gather the insights needed before moving forward with smart city initiatives.

To learn more about how our Smart City Assessment tool helped Ruston elicit feedback from city staff and make sense of the various technology options, you can watch the recording of our Smart Cities Connect session or download the slides (PDF). And for information on how E Source can help your city or utility with its smart city project, visit our Cities page.