Now that a low-cost asset management & GIS alternative is in production and starting to be adopted by other communities, it has given me the confidence to commit myself to the next project which is to design open source, standards based infrastructure for municipalities which pull together all data: financial, sensor, statistical in a coherent data lake. This is a beginning of interesting journey which I hope ends in an effective alternative to current proprietary solutions and sustainable open source movement to support it. I have much learning to do and this is an huge project….but I am committed to this. Furthermore, my current service-fee model for asset management will support this quite well without necessitating taxpayer support or reliance on slow-moving bureaucratic structures in government.
The advantages of this are huge and self-evident from cost, access, governance and innovation perspectives. For one thing, small communities will not be forced to spend increasing amounts on software. Second, data can be shared across communities and reports and statements standardized and made inherently comparable. Third, oversight can be vastly improved as compared to current mechanisms such as LDGE etc. It also offers a unique opportunity to apply analytics to identify and preempt issues. And critically, the larger data sets will allow application of AI across the sector. This is tremendously exciting!