IDC: Smart and Connected Technology to Become Important for Megasporting Events

Cisco outlined its vision for the role that technology will play in megasports events of the future. A white paper from International Data Corporation (IDC) sponsored by Cisco assesses the impact that smart and connected technology may have in terms of supporting the planning, staging, management and subsequent ongoing economic contribution of a megasports event within a region, particularly in a developing-country market environment.

The white paper concludes that technology can help to address some of these challenges and that it also has an important role to play in the context of hosting a megasports event. It can maximize exposure, increasing revenue for the host country or community as well as supporting reductions in expenditure by streamlining services and processes. Through the creation of technologically inspired fan and citizen experiences, the white paper concludes, technology can also significantly differentiate an event.

Highlights from IDC White Paper: 
* The white paper examines the opportunities for smart-enabled sports events: Specifically, the role that smart technology solutions or connected technology, can play in assisting communities that are hosting such events. The solutions would address critical developmental areas such as communications, security, transportation, facility management, community outreach and a wide array of other objectives. 

* As part of the white paper, IDC also analyzed elements of the Cisco smart- and connected-community strategy and how they might apply to a megasports event. Analysts drew on research around technology and sustainability in megasports events and used IDC's existing research on smart cities.

White Paper Conclusions: 
* The challenges facing the organizers of megasporting events are enormous: Stadiums are clearly top of mind, but the impact on public safety, transportation, telecommunications, hospitality and other infrastructures is also significant. These challenges are compounded by the pressures placed on the government and organizing bodies to execute these investments in order to finish in time for the event; additionally, of course, they get only one shot at live coverage to an expectant world.

* While connected-sports solutions are still in their early stages, pockets of innovation are already occurring, and technology companies such as Cisco are increasingly engaging with organizers and governments in host countries to help ensure they are able to collaborate early enough to influence technology investments.

* From an organizer's perspective, hosting a megasports event provides a significant opportunity for strategic investment. However, in order to derive real value, the related decisions need to be considered with a view to sustainability, the extent to which these investments can both improve the quality and experience of the actual event and enhance the potential to achieve future economic, social and environmental benefits after the event.

* Investing in futureproof technology can aid such sustainability initiatives. Event organizers should therefore engage with technology companies early in the planning process to define a strategy jointly.

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