This year’s CEBIT Australia promised to be bigger and better than ever before.

 

With a whole new look, the event organisers promised a mix of cutting-edge exhibitions, activations and keynote speeches that all focused on understanding how technology can help grow businesses.

Running from the 29th – 31st October at the ICC in Sydney, this year’s CEBIT certainly delivered on it’s promises, with the exhibition hall dazzling in the classic CEBIT purple hues.

The main themes from the event included transformation and disruption, data privacy and trust, driving business growth, the future of work and applications of emerging technology.

Fitting into the last category, Team Mobi attended an interesting panel discussion focused on strategies that can be taken to create and build smart cities in Australia and beyond.

The panel was made up of some of the biggest names in smart technology research in Australia, including Central Coast Council CIO Peter Ahul, ARUP Cities Leader for Australasia and Chair of Open Cities Tim Williams, Transport for NSW Smart Innovation Centre Program Manager Neha Saini and Aurecon Futures Research Leader Noriko Wynn.

Moderated by City of Brisbane Chief Digital Officer Cat Matson, the discussion called on vision from Federal and State governments to plan and invest in future cities.

Government has often been blamed for constraining innovation and as Tim Williams commented, “Smart cities really require smart governance.”

This is especially important with regards to, as Noriko Wynn pointed out, that because technology is moving at such speed, slow decision-making is really inefficient.

This relates with the theme of the panel, which argued that whilst the tech exists, the human elements are struggling.

How do we collaborate to ensure solutions that engage with a digital ecosystem?

So what can be done to actually make smart cities a reality? Transport NSW’s Neha Saini pointed to the importance of collaboration, especially between local councils and global tech companies. She offered an example of the partnership between different elements when it came to introducing driverless shuttles in regional and urban NSW.

Peter Ahul argued that when making decisions on smart cities we must ask ourselves if we’re developing these technologies keeping in mind it’s relevance to the people on the ground.

Funding, red tape, changes in government, brownfield sites, scalability, legacy systems, financial sustainability, policy lags are all issues which have stood in the way of the city of the future.

But the panel remains optimistic that Australian cities are on track to reach their ‘smart’ potential.

I believe the cornerstone of all smart cities is connectivity. – Peter Ahul

The rest of our CEBIT visit was spent exploring the countless number of exhibitors and hearing their latest tech stories.

A highlight was definitely the outdoor cinema which screened a number of important tech keynote speeches from over the years including Apple’s Steve Wozniaki’s memorable CEBIT keynote speech from 2014. You can watch it below.


Thinking of embracing some new tech mentioned but not sure what technology is best suited for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mobiddiction. Our customised consultancy offering is suited to investigate and meet individual business demands. We’re based in Sydney’s CBD so pop in and see us any time.

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