Smart City initiatives generally lack an operational framework that would guide the process undertaken by the heads of public entities. It was on this basis that IMD and Swisscom joined forces two years ago to develop the Smart City Piano, which is a real step forward in the digitization of cities. Since then, various projects have been conducted based on the Piano on different geographical scales, from cities to regions. The experience gained from these cooperations has demonstrated the need for public authorities to have a more detailed methodology to define, select and implement the most promising projects.

A six-step method

This second report provides a six-step approach developed on the basis of interviews with project managers in public and business entities. The experience gained in project management with Swisscom customers has made it possible to refine the proposed methodology.

"Our co-creation projects in Switzerland with the Canton of Geneva, the cities of Pully, Montreux and Fribourg, have allowed us to validate certain assumptions and to find solutions to problems identified, for instance such as governance," says Raphaël Rollier, head of the Smart City program at Swisscom.

A dynamic specific to the public sector

Hundreds of companies around the world – active in various industries – have sought out the IMD Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative, to plan their digital transformation journey.

"However, in order to transform the public sector and, in particular, to develop smart cities and regions, many rules of the private sector do not apply," says Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD and co-author of the study. This collaboration has led to a deeper understanding of the specific dynamics of digital transformation in the public sector and the study will enable city leaders to accelerate their digital transition.

The study will be discussed at a workshop during SmartSuisse, a strategic conference taking place in Basel on 27 April. City officials from Dublin, Zurich and Pully will be present to discuss their experiences on digital transformation.

Read the study "Smart City: Six Steps to Successfully Transform Your City".