Sirti Digital Solutions: IoT, Public Safety, and Smart Cities

13 September 2023

Luca Rubaga, Managing Director of Sirti Digital Solutions, tells us about the upcoming trends in the IoT field: they will focus on public safety, highway networks, and smart cities.

At the heart of the very current debate on digital transition, there is no event where the Internet of Things (IoT) is not discussed. The concept of the Internet of Things has been in the public debate since the beginning of the century to describe a system where common digital devices and cloud computing platforms, connected via the Internet, could communicate with each other, exchanging data. These data are primarily used for statistical purposes to monitor and optimize activities and processes typical of daily life and business productivity.

Key elements of this process are the platforms, mainly cloud-based, which are the technological frameworks that acquire, store, and process data from IoT devices typically located at the edge. Indeed, edge computing allows for data processing and analysis near the sources of data generation, improving the overall efficiency of the system and significantly reducing the need, compared to traditional models, to process data in a remote data center. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the above-described technological chain allows for more precise analysis along with better predictive capabilities, resulting in better real-time awareness. This is particularly important for applications like predictive maintenance.

Internet of Things

In a world where data has become the new oil powering businesses, IoT is one of the paradigms that becomes a driving force behind digital and industrial transition. In this sense, considering the myriad of specialized markets, the areas of application for the Internet of Things are limitless, as are the potential changes that such a solution can bring about.

An important trend in IoT development is already evident in the field of public safety, mobility, and transportation. Here, the Internet of Things becomes crucial, especially in the context of road infrastructure, to monitor the structural behavior of civil infrastructure over time. The monitoring system has the significant advantage of signaling potential anomalies in real-time and communicating them promptly for necessary evaluations. The change in the approach to managing these critical civil works for the country, including bridges and viaducts, lies in the ability to update the risk assessment associated with the work in a timely manner to effectively plan maintenance interventions and define new strategies to extend the useful life of the structure.

Digital Transformation

It is in this scenario that Sirti Digital Solutions, a company of the Sirti Group that enables digital transformation, has developed solutions through a dedicated team of experts who design, develop, and implement advanced IoT architectures to offer to highway concessionaires. Specifically, we have already prepared solutions for both static and dynamic monitoring of the structural behavior of bridges, viaducts, and tunnels located along highway segments.

From highway infrastructure to city infrastructure, the Internet of Things plays a leading role in the game of smart cities, from mobility to security, and contributes to transforming our cities into a smarter perspective. Cities can use IoT to plan and optimize resource utilization and improve the operational efficiency of the "city system." Through dynamic knowledge of mobility flows within the city, it is possible to plan and implement public transportation interventions that better meet mobility demand. Similarly, it is possible to monitor energy consumption in buildings and optimize it, reducing costs and environmental impact, as well as monitor air and water quality, helping cities identify and address pollution issues.

Considering that in the near future, the majority of the world's population will reside in cities, it is natural that infrastructure and city administration processes will come under even more pressure. Our commitment is focused on the development of IoT services in urban areas to contribute to the automation of critical data collection for urban management, such as traffic, parking availability, waste collection, and the management of water and energy networks. This is aimed at achieving more efficient operations in these services and, consequently, improving aspects related to the quality of life for citizens and ensuring greater sustainability.

Public Safety and Smart Cities

Another important trend in IoT application in terms of public utility and safety is definitely related to the energy transport of utilities. There are dedicated projects aimed at improving connectivity between the various data centers of large companies involved in the distribution of electrical energy. In this context, we have just developed and delivered a solution for the automation of Terna's Data Center telecommunication network through Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies. The aim, in this case, is to increase communication between data collection and analysis centers of Terna to optimize internal workload management and the telecontrol and teleoperation processes of the electrical network.

In terms of monitoring, digital devices applied to strategic electrical infrastructure are essential to verify the real-time and remote state of conservation of structures that are often located in hard-to-reach areas and subject to extreme environmental conditions. Furthermore, intelligent control systems, equipped with sensors, edge computing modules, and data transmission to a central cloud-based platform, allow for verification and measurement of voltage loads on electrical transmission lines to detect any anomalous behaviors in real-time.

Sirti Digital Solutions Spa is the Sirti Group company specialized in system integration and digital transformation. Thanks to our extensive portfolio of solutions and specialized technological expertise and operational capabilities, we enable the public and private sectors to embrace digitalization.

With a team of 450 professionals and over 1,700 personal technological certifications, we generate revenues of approximately 226 million euros (in 2022) in the digital solutions sector alone. The company designs, implements, and maintains innovative solutions in IoT, cybersecurity, networking, cloud, data center, and technological facilities and provides support through a consolidated structure of Managed Services operating in 24/7 mode. A vast network of partnerships with the most influential global technology players such as Cisco, Nokia, Juniper, HpeAruba, Fortinet, and the systematic adoption of the open innovation paradigm complete a value proposition that makes Sirti Digital Solutions one of the most qualified reference partners in the Italian market for the development of digital transformation in the country.

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Sirti Digital Solutions and Cisco for the automation of Terna's data centers with the new Software Defined Networking (SDN).

The new infrastructure of Terna's Data Centers will be designed and implemented in collaboration between CISCO and Sirti Digital Solutions: a "software-defined" model that enhances resilience, agility, and sustainability. Milan, August 30, 2023 – Sirti Digital Solutions, an ICT company within the Sirti Group – an innovation hub in the field of network infrastructure development, digital services, and cybersecurity – and CISCO – a global leader in networking solutions – will collaborate on a digital transformation project aimed at developing a software-based solution for automating Terna's Data Center telecommunications network, using Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies. For Terna, the company responsible for the national transmission network, this initiative is part of the strategic Data Center operations for telecontrol and teleconduction processes. The project involves the introduction of an architecture that will orchestrate the delivery of connectivity services to the data centers based on pre-defined policies, with automated workload management and observability features to ensure the necessary performance for business processes. The network becomes programmable and serves applications through machine learning and artificial intelligence logic, and is intrinsically secure as it is designed from the ground up with security in mind (Security by Design). Sirti Digital Solutions, leveraging its distinctive position in the digital transformation field and innovative capabilities from its Digital Lab, will act as a system integrator in the design, implementation, and support of the new Terna Data Center network automation infrastructure. "We are particularly proud to collaborate with CISCO on an innovative project to evolve digital infrastructure for Terna," said Luca Rubaga, Managing Director of Sirti Digital Solutions S.p.A. "Thanks to our ongoing investments in Software Defined Networking technologies, Sirti Digital Solutions continues to be chosen by companies for strategic projects, further confirming our position as a key player in the country's digital transformation journey." CISCO will contribute to the detailed network design with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) technology, helping accelerate digital transformation and energy transition processes. "To ensure a truly sustainable future," commented Gianmatteo Manghi, CEO of Cisco Italy, "it is essential to accelerate the digital transformation process in the energy sector. Building highly automated networks is essential to make our country's critical infrastructure not only safer and more efficient but also capable of accommodating increasingly clean and renewable energy." [Reproduction Reserved]