IDC forecasts that 50 percent of Asia Pacific’s cities and states (excluding Japan and China) will initiate GenAI pilots by 2024. These pilots are anticipated to enhance effectiveness in community outreach, customer service, procurement, staff recruitment and training, and software development.
The central theme of this year’s predictions revolves around the significant influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on investments and transformations within smart cities and communities across Asia Pacific.
According to the IDC Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey conducted in September 2023, 49 percent of the region’s government agencies have either invested in or tested GenAI proof of concepts (POC). While this figure trails the overall market trends, it suggests that half of the agencies will commence pilots by early to mid-2024.
Despite various disruptive factors in Asia Pacific’s subnational governments, several key drivers shape these predictions. These include enhancing the digital citizen experience, fostering the next generation of digital skills, and establishing balanced regulatory frameworks that ensure innovation without compromising assurance.
Overarching these trends is the imperative to guarantee cyber-resilience and digital sovereignty to address the geopolitical risks faced by cities in the next five years, making it crucial for CIOs and city leaders to stay abreast of evolving trends and their impact on civic initiatives, IDC said in the latest FutureScape report titled “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Smart Cities and Communities 2024 Predictions — Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan and China) Implications.”
IDC’s predictions underscore the pivotal role AI will play in facilitating secure and effective digital change delivery. In the short term (2024-2026), AI’s focus will be on data preparation and providing contextualized citizen experiences, while in the long term (2027 onwards), it will shape how local governments tackle cybersecurity risks associated with the technology.
Other AI-driven predictions for the region include:
Unified Data Models: Only 15 percent of Asia Pacific’s medium-sized and large cities by 2024 will implement necessary data model changes to prepare for AI, advanced analytics, and collective decision-making in their back-office application landscapes.
Contextualized Government Interactions: To enhance constituent engagement, 40 percent of large cities in Asia Pacific are expected to pilot online journeys using voice and text conversations leveraging real-time contextual AI tools by 2025.
GenAI as a Bad Actor: By 2027, cyberattacks and crimes caused by weaponized GenAI are projected to impact 90 percent of local and regional governments, necessitating the adoption of new human-centered cybersecurity and public safety approaches.
Ravi k ant Sharma, Senior Manager, Government Insights, IDC Asia/Pacific, emphasizes the strategic significance of piloting GenAI across Asia Pacific City Governments. He stresses the importance of thoughtful consideration, addressing potential challenges, and ensuring responsible implementation for success and maximum benefit from this technology.
Louise Francis, Head of Public Sector Research, IDC Asia/Pacific, remarks that this year’s predictions reflect the dynamic nature of the local government sector in Asia Pacific, with policymakers facing the challenge of balancing regulatory guidance with the aspirations of a thriving digital economy.