The Smart DevOps Italian Stakeholders’ Community is growing – Part II

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The Smart DevOps Italian Stakeholders’ Community is growing – Part II

Last 6th July the first Italian Smart DevOps workshop took place. The event has been organized by Stati Generali dell’Innovazione (SGI), in the framework of its annual meeting, this year held at Bevagna, a nice town in the Umbria region. 

In the previous post (The Smart DevOps Italian Stakeholders’ Community is rising – Part I) the goal of the Italian workshop within the project context has been outlined, and the first two speakers’ contributions have been provided. 

This second article sketches the other three experts’ speeches, elaborating on some specific topics related to Smart City processes and DevOps methodology, i.e.: 

  • DevOps Approach for Smart City Operations, presented by Sandro Fontana, Security Architect, GT 50 
  • Software & Data Quality and ISO 25000 Certification, presented by Domenico Natale, Software Engineering Expert 
  • Homo Geographicus and Smart Cities, presented by Sergio Farruggia, Geo-ICT Expert 

All the SGI members and guests attending the Bevagna meeting deeply appreciated the quality of the presentations, as well as the opportunity to be involved in the related discussion on such relevant topics dealt with. 

In addition, Smart DevOps website surfers will be able as well to be informed about the matters and items debated at Bevagna workshop, having the possibility to comment on those topics, should they so desire. They would offer additional insights to the emerging debate within the Smart DevOps stakeholder community — where anyone is of course absolutely welcome! 

DevOps Approach for Smart City Operations 

Sandro Fontana – Information Security Architect, GT 50 

The fundamental elements of the DevOps approach are recalled. Critical activities such as version control, configuration management, compliance testing are becoming increasingly complex. At the same time, the pressure increases to release software products more quickly, frequently and reliably. 

Such a need to reduce time-to-market has led to a wide adoption of “agile” development practices, and such practices – with continuous releases – have had a heavy impact on operations activities. This set of elements has given rise to the DevOps Culture, as a method to support the new challenges that arise in current software development. 

The Smart City context will be a significantly suitable ground to apply this approach. The creation of a Smart City necessarily – although not exclusively – depends upon a strong integration with Information Technology and widespreading of the internet of things (IoT). As a consequence, there is a continuous need both to develop new software to manage the new intelligent “objects” and new applications to manage the large amount of data abruptly available. In this new context, the DevOps approach will be of great help to deal with such a radical change. 

Software & Data Quality and ISO 25000 Certification 

Domenico Natale – Software Engineering International Expert 

Domenico Natale links the quality of software and data, as defined by the ISO 25000 series standards, to the quality assurance pursued by the DevOps technique. The author believes that the application of DevOps combined with the data quality and software criteria will have a positive impact on the realization of Smart Cities, Those require high software interoperability and large data interchange capabilities of the various interconnected systems. 

Important ISO standards are mentioned that are useful to support many important sectors for a City increasingly smart, such as social responsibility, construction work, water resources management, accessibility and usability, interoperability, traffic management, pollution control, etc. 

Lastly, the recent possibility of ISO 25000 certification has been highlighted for some specific quality features of software product and data, to better ensure the evolution towards Smart Cities. 

Homo Geographicus & Smart Cities 

Sergio Farruggia – VP Stati Generali dell’Innovazione (SGI) 

Let us consider the effects of the transition – from analog to digital – of geographic information, combined with those induced by the advent of the Internet. The digital transformation of geographic data allows us to experiment with its new values of use: no longer only an element of knowledge of the territory and representation of the geographical space organization, but also a means of connection and communication between different disciplines, through which it is possible to simultaneously make use of heterogeneous data, concerning any place on Earth, referring to presently, as well as to the past and the future. 

The global and widespread availability of the Internet has given the categories ‘space’ and ‘time’ a fundamental role to enable us to understand the consequences of the radical changes of our age and to take those into account to imagine and design our future. It has not taken many years since the advent of the Net – for instance – to realize that cable technologies earlier on, and wireless ones later on, made virtual and physical places closely connected. 

Let us imagine hence the individual of the next generations intrinsically localized and permanently connected in the digital-analog multi-space (biosphere – network). Due to evolutionary stresses, he has expanded the capabilities of his spatial intelligence, acquiring expertise on the use of spatial awareness. Skills that allow him to consciously live in this hybrid world, without a temporal continuity solution, gathering benefits for himself and his social relationships but also knowing how to interpret with proper balance the psychological and ethical problems induced by this anthropological transformation. 

The adoption of this kind of flashforward encourages us to identify cultural and educational initiatives that, bearing in mind the current – flourishing – diffusion of geospatial technologies in many areas of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), stimulate society – organizations, as well as individuals – towards symbiotic behaviors with digital technologies, that is, that help the learning of new ways of using geographic information. In summary: a cognitive convergence must be associated with the technological one. 

Such an approach is very urgent, considering that the technological convergence recalled is set to increase, as evidenced by the economic data of the geospatial market, whose Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in the period 2017-to-2020 is 13.6%, from 299.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 439.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 — more than two percentage points compared to the previous period of 2013-2017. This positive trend is superimposed on the economic impact generated by using geospatial information and technologies beyond the confines of the geospatial industry, which has presented an annual growth rate of 20.9% — from 1,188.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2013 to 2,210.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Big Data, Wireless, and Broadband are the drivers of this process, and technological contaminations increasingly blur the boundary between “Geo-ICT” and the ICT ecosystem — see nanotechnology, micro-satellites, self-driving cars, gamification, holograms / virtual reality and so on. 

In the context outlined above, the association “Stati Generali dell’Innovazione” (SGI), together with other partners, is pursuing some initiatives that fall within the scope of the Smart City / Community processes. These include: 

  • the promotion of the new professional role of the Geographic Information Manager; 
  • actions to stimulate the use of the National Standard UNI 11621-5:2018 “Professional profiles related to geographical information”; 
  • the growth of awareness of geospatial infrastructures to support the monitoring of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, through the adoption of indicators on the use of geospatial data on Sustainable Development, in line with the ISO / IEC DIS 30146 standard “Smart city ICT indicators” and the UN-GGIM agreement -Copernicus Programme; 
  • the promotion of Geo-ICT skills within the definition of professional profiles for experts of “Industry 4.0″innovative processes, in the context of critical infrastructures management. 

Such experiences can generate topics of interest to the Smart DevOps project. 

As an example, what referred to in the previous third bullet has recently concerned the formulation of specific geospatial infrastructure targets and recommendations, which have been included into the document “Urban Agenda for Sustainable Development”, published on July 2019 by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development, ASviS. 

The objectives to be met by 2030, introduced in this report for urban areas, refer to Sustainable Development Goal no. 9, “Enterprises, Innovation and Infrastructure”, to (i) help to bring Italy into the top 10 countries in the Geospatial Readiness Index1, and (ii) distribute resources geo-referenced detected by the National Territorial Data Repository (RNDT) across all local administrations. 

To this end, it is necessary to pursue and promote: 

  1. the use of geospatial technologies beyond traditional contexts, using policies regarding Earth Observation (i.e. the National Plan to Support the European Copernicus Programme within the Space Economy Plan) and Innovation (i.e. the Enterprise Plan 4.0) adopted by Italy; 
  2. the increasing of geospatial data quantity and quality, as well as of data and services user licenses, starting to monitor the availability of data at urban level, which is one of greater detail and hence of greater value in terms of data reuse; 
  3. the introduction of the Geographic Information professionals (that from 2018 are regulated –see UNI standard 11621-5 2018), within the smart cities & communities processes; in particular, the Geographic Information Manager can take care of the conscious use of geospatial data and related technologies, with a focus also on the development of Spatial Data Infrastructures. 

The implementation of these recommendations, defined within the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy national policies, will have real effects on the development of spatially enabled Smart Cities: context within which the Smart DevOps‘ tools and methodologies will help the development of the digital skills they need. 

With this in mind, SGI – also through the Italian community of Smart DevOps stakeholders that the association is helping to create – will share its experience and knowledge on geo-ICT skills in the phases of design and development of training plans, as well as in the context of the training activities that will need to be carried out.