Embracing a new era of connectivity and customer-centric service is the key to establishing Smart Cities

The future demands a new mindset and strategic planning – featuring seamless digital connections, personalized public service and optimized....

The future demands a new mindset and strategic planning – featuring seamless digital....

The world’s cities are now poised at a significant inflection point as their leaders realize that long-embraced approaches to planning and policies will likely no longer work to shape cities for a future that is truly healthy, sustainable, efficient, and prosperous for all. The future demands a new mindset and strategic planning – featuring seamless digital connections, personalized public service and optimized operational efficiency. The journey into a new future of urban design, services and living will include the following modern strategies:

Listening in new ways: Using modern digital technologies and channels can give cities a new ‘ear to the ground’ to identify public needs and respond with customer-centric experiences. Forrester’s Customer Experience Index research shows that governments continue to provide poorer customer experiences than the private sector.1 And fewer than half of leaders surveyed are confident in their data analytics capabilities, which are critical to providing data-based insights that drive customer centricity and innovation.

A clear destination for change: Shaping tomorrow’s cities will involve precise, informed objectives that are aligned with the technologies, capabilities and expertise needed to meet public-service expectations. The global pandemic has served to accelerate the pace of emerging changes that hold implications for the decline of the ‘centralized city’ model and the need for an unprecedented focus on stakeholder outcomes.

New approaches to urban living: The long-held one-size-fits-all approach to planning and policies will likely no longer work as city living goes local in exciting new ways. A future of economic, social, environmental, and cultural well-being and progress requires services, capabilities and choices that cater to the evolving needs of people and communities seeking to maximize the utility of city life based on personal preferences. One size no longer ‘fits all’ as urban life evolves.

Fostering collaboration to build greener, safer cities for all: Closer relationships among global cities and their leaders – and between cities and private industry – will be crucial to providing truly responsive customer-centric services and a new era of healthy, sustainable living for all. More than 80 percent of global GDP is being generated today by the world’s cities, which produce more than 60 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.2 KPMG’s 2021 CEO Outlook Survey shows that global organizations are increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment to drive change amid public pressure to rebuild sustainably for the future.  

Breaking down traditional silos and barriers: Tomorrow’s cities are poised to be connected in ways that put every citizen, business and stakeholder at the center of everything. An example is the alliance between KPMG in Norway and United Cities that is currently helping cities and municipalities become more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by gathering critical research and data that measures progress among various peer cities, and sharing the timely insights and key learnings it gains to drive advancements among all global cities pursuing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes strategic efforts to identify gaps in current sustainability programs, capabilities and funding requirements. Investments in innovation hubs and digital twins are also being used to provide important insights on future requirements and potential challenges.

Driving economic growth and prosperity: The need for new technologies will be important to enhance and sustain economic growth. Exploring new forms of revenue generation by cities will also be important to sustained growth. 

A new need for speed and agility: Forrester research commissioned by KPMG shows that most decision makers surveyed – about two-thirds – currently believe their workforce strategy and organizational design support today’s city strategies and objectives. But they also see the need to respond to ever-changing public needs with greater speed and agility by improving partnering strategies and outcome management.3

The status quo that defines today’s traditional government organizations is expected to become obsolete as the remarkable pace of change accelerates to reveal a future of connected organizations featuring personalized, customer-centric services. There is little time to lose for local authorities to embark on this exciting journey.


Thai version: การเชื่อมต่อและบริการที่เน้นลูกค้าเป็นศูนย์กลางคือกุญแจในการสร้างสมาร์ทซิตี้


1 ‘The US Federal Customer Experience Index, 2020,’ Forrester Research Inc., September 30, 2020

2  https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/urbandevelopment/overview

3 A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of KPMG, February 2021

About KPMG in Thailand

KPMG in Thailand, with more than 2,000 professionals offering Audit and Assurance, Legal, Tax, and Advisory services, is a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee.

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