Establishing and Enabling Aurora as a Regional Tech Hub
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Establishing and Enabling Aurora as a Regional Tech Hub

By Michael Pegues, CIO, City of Aurora

Michael Pegues, CIO, City of Aurora

Most often, a smart city uses information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance its livability, workability and sustainability. The main functionalities that a smart city operationalizes in this process are as follows:

• Collects information about current conditions across all responsibility areas (power, water, traffic, weather, buildings, etc.).

• Communicates information, sometimes to other devices, sometimes to a control center and sometimes to servers running powerful software.

• Crunches data, analyzing it to present information, to perfect (optimize) operations and to predict what might happen next

Aurora’s Next Steps to Becoming a Smart City

The City of Aurora Illinois and Smart City Capital (SCC) LLC have agreed to explore a potential business relationship as structured in a Public Private Partnership for collaboration and integration of certain transformational objectives to enhance the City of Aurora (“The City) Illinois and transform it into the nation’s first true Smart City—605 Innovation District.

Last year, the City of Aurora worked tirelessly with strategic partners Crowe and Gartner to develop a comprehensive roadmap of short and long term technology initiatives aimed at positioning our great City as a technology and innovation leader. As the City of Aurora’s Chief Information Officer, I am proud to be a part of the city’s inaugural Technology Strategic Plan—one that promotes a new vision for the way our city harnesses the opportunities that information technology offers. Transforming Aurora into a new technologically progressive community will serve both government agencies and constituents alike.

As a city, we need to embrace how technology can not only advance us as a society, but how it can also bring us closer together. Our guiding principles for this strategic plan are straightforward and align with Mayor Irvin’s vision for our city: 1) to create and embody One IT, through shared products, processes, people and partners; 2) Customer Experience, through providing quality solutions and services that ensure customer confidence and satisfaction; and 3) Agility & Smart Sourcing, by using the most efficient and effective blend of resources to meet our city’s ever-changing business demands. Technology has become a vital component in our daily lives, and Aurora has a duty to grow our technology resources to support the needs of the City and our citizens and to become a leader of innovation. The initiatives proposed in this plan are intended to build a strong information technology foundation in order to create an inclusive, modernized, and smarter community—one that guarantees Aurora bridges the digital divide.

In Conclusion

American cities today are embarking on an exciting path to harness the power of technology to improve the way they do business. Those cities who resist this movement, run the risk of falling victim to debilitating economic side effects of the digital rust belt. Aurora will not be one of them. The City of Lights has a history for leading the way through new technology, and Aurora is on the verge of continuing this trend.

The City recognizes that there’s room for improvement, that it won’t be easy and that it is going to take a lot of coordinated effort to achieve success; but in the words of Mayor Irvin “Come on Aurora. There’s something happening here, I can feel it! Can you feel it? We are one Aurora. We will endure as one Aurora.

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