Why Critical Infrastructure and Smart Cities Need Adaptable, IoT-Based Data Platforms

Author photo: Larry O'Brien
By Larry O'Brien

Keywords: LTTS, Critical Infrastructure, Smart Cities, CCTV, Building Automation, Sustainability, IoT Platforms, System of Systems, ARC Advisory Group.


Due to increased demands of sustainability and energy efficiency, critical infrastructure and smart cities can no longer afford to operate in traditional silos. Critical infrastructure and smart cities encompass everything from ports and terminals to the built environment and outdoor lighting systems. End users and owner operators in the smart city and critical infrastructure sectors are increasingly implementing sustainability related business strategies as a result of regulatory compliance requirements and efforts to improve efficiency. Achieving these operational goals is not possible without a significant investment in new software and new approaches to systems. 

IoT-Based Data Platforms

Many of the systems that control and operate today’s critical infrastructure and cities function in a siloed manner, with little or no connectivity to other systems. The problem arises because ports, cities, campuses, hospitals, and other installations do not function in such a siloed fashion. End users and owner operators need a more holistic view of their operations to provide increased security and safety, meet regulatory requirements and the overall objectives of the organization. 

To help owner operators achieve these goals, a new class of IoT-based systems are emerging with the power to unify data and information from many disparate systems. These critical infrastructure and smart city platforms can function as a “system of systems,” able to integrate data from a wide variety of installed legacy systems to provide a common environment for visualizing and managing data, and, most importantly, optimizing overall operations. 

Why a Holistic Approach Is Needed

In an organization or enterprise, what happens in one system will affect what happens in other systems. In a hurricane or cyclone, for example, drainage and flood control systems will affect traffic management systems, emergency management functions, power distribution, and other systems within a city. Power systems have a critical impact in every critical infrastructure installation or city. If power consumption peaks on extremely hot days, how might a city utilize its energy management systems, intelligent building controls, or lighting controls to reduce peak load? 

IoT-Based Data Platforms

By holistically monitoring and analyzing the usage of assets within an organization, owner operators can increase energy efficiency, improve safety, and avoid unplanned incidents. A holistic approach also greatly eases the process of regulatory and other forms of reporting by consolidating the necessary data from the numerous disparate systems where it resides and placing it into a single environment. 

What Is an IoT-Based Data Platform?

IoT-based data platforms serve to unify data and information from many siloed systems that are currently in place. The platforms provide a common mechanism for visualizing and managing data, and, most importantly, optimizing overall operations in a city, a building, a campus, or any critical infrastructure installation. IoT-based data platforms perform many functions, including analytics, remote asset monitoring, performance management, and decision support. IoT-based data platforms should include a common environment for visualization, advanced applications, analytics, and contextualized data. 

 IoT-based data platforms should also provide a mechanism for common visualization across multiple functional domains. A true IoT-based data platform should also provide data and information in context. In other words, it should provide the right data and information to the right people at the right time in an actionable context. The platform must support analytics and advanced applications and be cyber secure. This includes validation of secure development practices and adherence to standards and best practices from the design of the system through its installation and operational phase. 

LTTS Capabilities

A subsidiary of one of India’s largest engineering conglomerates Larsen & Toubro, L&T Technology Services (LTTS) LTTS is a leading global services company with a client base comprising 69 Fortune 500 companies and 53 of the world’s top R&D spenders. The consultancy, design, development and testing services across the product and process development lifecycle cater to all major industries including transportation, industrial products, telecom & hi-tech, medical devices, and process industries. LTTS specializes in an array of advanced technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence, collaborative robots, digital factories, autonomous vehicles, and more.

LTTS Sustainable Smart World Solutions

As part of its engineering solution offerings, LTTS has created a Sustainable Smart World business, which concentrates several areas of expertise around executing projects and providing total engineered solutions for the areas of critical infrastructure and smart cities. LTTS has executed many large projects in this sector, from entire smart city deployments to very large critical infrastructure installations such as Abu Dhabi International Airport, Qatar Stadium, and the Riyadh Metro. 

The Sustainable Smart World business provides solutions to smart cities and public infrastructure, utilities such as power and water, and the built environment, the process industries, and manufacturing. The business is organized into safety and security, smart operations, sustainability and digital solutions. The safety and security business provides integrated command and control centers, perimeter security solutions, vision-based safety and security (CCTV systems), and cybersecurity solutions. The Smart Operations business provides integrated operations centers, connected vehicle solutions, vision-based analytics, and smart meter operations centers and energy analytics. The Sustainability and Digital Solutions business includes meter data management, energy and sustainability management, private LTE and 5G network deployments, and cloud transformation services. 

LTTS Brings Software Expertise

Many think of LTTS as a services company, and the Sustainable Smart World business does offer a comprehensive scope of system integration services, managed services, operational services, and digital infrastructure related services. However, LTTS also offers a range of technologies and software, including IoT-based data platforms, analytics offerings, cloud-based solutions, computer vision solutions, and geospatial information systems (GIS). Combining this technology expertise with engineering knowledge is a key differentiator for LTTS. 

Leveraging Engineering Knowledge for Digital Transformation

Many new projects in critical infrastructure and cities today are driven by digital transformation efforts. Many digital transformation projects in turn are driven by business, regulatory, safety, and sustainability related initiatives. Ports, for example, are concerned with increasingly vulnerable supply chains, increased need for security, and the need to respond quickly to unexpected changes in the global market. Cities are looking at increasing energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and increasing the safety of citizens. 

LTTS has the capability to combine its engineering expertise with technology to implement a total solution for a wide range of critical infrastructure and smart city applications. LTTS also has the capability to form long term partnerships with its end user and owner operator customers, staying with them from the earliest phases of engineering and design through the operational phase, where it can leverage its engineering knowledge to provide actionable insights through an integrated digital platform. 

The Fusion IoT Data Platform

The LTTS Fusion offering is a true IoT data platform, which takes data from new and existing sources and systems and integrates it into a common environment with common processes and rules, a common core engine, and a single pane of glass for visualization, reporting, management, and operations. Combined with its solutions capabilities, LTTS can provide end to end solutions that incorporate both software and services along with the company’s engineering expertise to address specific use cases in critical infrastructure and smart cities. These include safety and security applications such as perimeter intrusion detection and CCTV systems, incident and emergency management systems, systems for utilities such as power and water, and more. 

IoT-Based Data Platforms

Fusion includes an event-driven, services-oriented architecture. Role-based access unlocks different features for different worker roles and people in the organization. It’s a scalable solution, so end users can implement Fusion in small scale applications and gradually scale up, which is a typical approach in many IoT data platform deployments. 

IoT-Based Data Platforms

A common data model is essential for any IoT data platform and for system of systems to be successfully implemented. Fusion takes data from multiple sources and consolidates it into its own data lake, with domain specific data marts. Data is updated and streamed in real time from these various sources, and Fusion also supports open APIs and data frameworks such as FIWARE. Another unique feature of Fusion is the integration of GIS information, allowing geospatial information to be easily integrated and overlaid into existing operator interfaces and applications. 

Case Studies: Integrated Intelligent Buildings

LTTS has implemented numerous projects through its Sustainable Smart World Business, from integrated command and control centers for cities and facilities/campuses to smart meter operations centers, intrusion detection and response systems. LTTS also implements large building automation and other critical infrastructure systems at industrial and manufacturing sites. 

Smart Cities and Smart Spaces

One of the best examples both of LTTS’ capability in IoT data platform implementation and total solutions capabilities is in the intelligent building space. LTTS has the capability to both implement and integrate all the various systems in the built environment from surveillance and HVAC and energy management systems. LTTS can also integrate a wide variety of other smart building systems such as solar power and EV charging, parking management, and water consumption monitoring. In addition to integrating these different systems under the Fusion IoT data platform, LTTS can also integrate digital twin technology both from LTTS and from third party suppliers like Bentley. The company has implemented over 25 integrated city operations centers. 

IoT-Based Data Platforms

Safety and Security

LTTS also offers integrated command and control centers for public safety applications, as well as CCTV solutions, crime and vision analytics capabilities, and citizen safety solutions. The company also offers perimeter intrusion detection solutions that are deployed across a wide range of applications. 


Smart meter rollouts and operation, utility related analytics, smart meter operations centers, and advanced distribution management systems are all part of LTTS’ portfolio in utilities. The company has executed large-scale intelligent meter rollouts of over 1.5 million devices. 

Process Industries

The company offers a wide range of solutions for the process industries related to critical infrastructure and building management related applications. These include smart CCTV solutions, occupational safety video analytics, emergency management solutions, command and control centers, operations centers, and fleet management solutions. 


End users and owner/operators in the critical infrastructure and smart city sectors are faced with numerous challenges that will require the adoption of IoT Data platforms and a “system of systems” philosophy. Looming regulatory requirements related to sustainability reporting, safety, and cybersecurity are a key factor. 

In ARC’s view, there are several leading suppliers that have tried to break into this space of IoT data platforms for critical infrastructure and smart cities. Many of these companies have since abandoned these efforts or sold off their businesses because they were too software-centric and did not offer the services and engineering expertise that are required to ensure a successful implementation of this technology. In ARC’s view, the combination of software and engineering expertise is a key differentiator for LTTS and the company has successfully executed many projects in this space and can provide key value metrics related to these projects. 


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