In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a fantastic conversation with Robert Linsdell, the Managing Director of Vertiv for Australia and New Zealand. He is passionate about technology; he grew up with it and has worked with it all of his life. We first talked about the different sectors of the Smart City and what is to come. We then talk about the importance of uninterrupted connectivity and power supply for a Smart City. Robert then talks about how important it is for interoperability to occur, to collaborate instead of compete. Robert shares was Vertiv does, particular with regards to data centres and UPS — uninterruptible power supply. We then talk about how unforgiving we are of technology and that we need to start talking about what to do if it fails. Finally, we discuss how important it is for government to keep up with technology when doing policy and planning. As always I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen Here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Robert’s background in technology
  • The 4th industrial revolution
  • What sparked his interest in the Smart City space
  • What a Smart City means to Robert and why he thinks it’s important
  • The unique challenges of the Smart City space in Australia
  • The importance of interoperability and collaboration in the Smart City Space
  • What Vertiv does and how they can help support business and data centres
  • Uninterrupted connectivity and power supply for data centres and Smart Cities
  • The emerging trend of resilience and why we should be talking about it more
  • The reasons Governments need to keep up with technology

Quotes:

“The fourth industrial revolution is about cyber-physical…we humans are going to be automatically interacting with that technology without any direct input. We might have a wearable or we might have some glasses on, but things will just happen because we’re there.”

“We’re going to be challenged with having good connectivity, all of these interactions are going to need to have power, and that power needs to be always on, and of course we need security because it needs to be reliable.”

“There are very many aspects of Smart Cities which have yet to be developed. The exciting things for me is that all of these technologies are going to have to talk to each other and they’re all going to have to work, and that’s the fun part!”

“We’re entering a world where there’s a lot of economic turmoil, there’s climate change…we have an ageing population, we have a lot of urbanisation…within the Smart City environment, we actually have the technology and the innovation to solve all of these difficulties. The question is how we align it all so that it does become efficient.”

“I get pretty frustrated whenever I can’t use an app. I actually changed bank because the app was almost impossible to use…As the Smart City becomes clever enough to allow all this stuff to work, we have an expectation then that it will work…What happens when [that app] fails?”

“The world becomes actually a very difficult place when it doesn’t happen [the way it is supposed to]. I’m not entirely confident that the technology is always going work for us.”

“If cost becomes the only driver, then there often are corners cut, and if the corner is cut, then there is generally an explainable outage.”

“Governments are pretty good at being able to run countries, but they’re not necessarily fully on board with the technology. And as the technology becomes ever more complicated and specialist, it makes it harder for the governments to maintain levels of control over this and to operate fast enough.”

Links:

Smart City Podcast Episode 9: The Key To Resilience Is Human, with Mike Legatt

Connect:

Connect with Robert via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

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My Smart Community offers consulting and media services with a focus on making our communities more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. We have a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration. As well as podcast production, communication and media advisory and engagement, keynote speaking, moderating, master of ceremonies and workshop design and facilitation.

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