The idea of building our second IoT product called Favorsense is to allow citizens to engage easily with the relevant authorities such as local councils.
Other scenarios would be for students on campus making reports about the universities facilities, residents making reports to their housing developers, and many others.
We can use the app for crowdsourcing input from users (in our case, we called crowdsensing – the people can become “sensors”).8 Top Challenges Building a Citizen Engagement App Click To Tweet
8 Top Challenges We Need to Avoid
There’s no way to understand the challenges if we have not built and sold Favorsense. Facing the customers is the only to find out. Some of the challenges are:
- Many Copycats – Unlike other IoT solutions that depend on custom-made IoT devices, many other IT companies can easily copy a complete software-based application unless it has a complex algorithm or some form of machine learning.
- Challenging to Become a SaaS-based Solution – Many local councils have a long-existing process embedded into their everyday workflow. Thus, it requires many customizations based on their workflow unless they are willing to replace them with a new one. Or the SaaS must be complete with the flexibility to integrate with their legacy systems.
- Red Ocean Market – There are many similar solutions – although incomplete or have different features, it seems to be more challenging for the customer to change to a new one.
- Procurement Complexity – Introducing intelligent city solutions is a very complex process. Much unclear procurement process due to many stakeholders involved. And this includes budget issues.
- Stand-Alone Solution Weakness – Just a citizen engagement solution might not be attractive enough in any tender or procurement process. It’s is typically part of the more extensive project roll-out.
- Opening the Floodgate – Not many organizations prefer a very open or accessible channel for users to make complaints or reports. It’s like opening a floodgate of complaints. However, it’s between letting complaints go viral or making the channel more controllable – it’s the local council’s choice.
- Legacy Systems – Older IT systems have existed in the current workflow and are thus difficult to integrate with new methods, especially when the data is no longer compatible. It requires massive upgrades and costs.
- Citizen Engagement Fatigue – Once the mobile citizen engagement app is launched, it requires constant push and awareness regarding its usefulness. Many similar apps just died quietly after several months in public.
Unlike the first IoT solution, Raqib, these challenges are totally different. It’s not about technical challenges but understanding the users’ needs and current legacy workflow.
It’s easier to sell Favorsense when the customer does not have any complaint or trouble ticket system.
Do you think there are other ways to resolve the eight issues mentioned above? Kindly leave your comments or feedback below. I love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
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