Constructing Safer and Smarter Cities of the Future





Nelson Gonzalez, Assistant Innovation and Expertise Director and Chief Data Safety Officer on the Metropolis of Coral Gables

Nelson Gonzalez, Assistant Innovation and Technology Director and Chief Information Security Officer at the City of Coral Gables

Nelson Gonzalez, Assistant Innovation and Expertise Director and Chief Data Safety Officer on the Metropolis of Coral Gables

Nelson Gonzalez is a seasoned skilled with 20 years of experience in design, engineering and supporting community telecommunications and cybersecurity infrastructure. Presently serving because the Assistant Innovation and Expertise Director and Chief Data Safety Officer (CISO) on the Metropolis of Coral Gables, he additionally holds the function of the native company safety officer with the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement (FDLE).

Gonzalez is thought for his dynamic method towards overseeing bodily and cybersecurity operations for town, managing infrastructure-related capital enchancment tasks, collaborating within the tech evaluation of sensible metropolis infrastructure deployments, and working compliance applications. His intensive expertise consists of contributing to the design and construct of town’s police and fireplace headquarters and working and upgrading the regional emergency operations middle with a regional 911 system, showcasing a complete understanding of metropolis infrastructure and operations.

In an interview with Govt CIO Outlook, Gonzalez shares his insights on the latest developments within the sensible metropolis business with a deal with know-how implementation and cybersecurity measures.

What are some latest developments within the business during the last 18 to 24 months?

As a municipality, we have witnessed noteworthy developments within the latest previous. Not too long ago, we have been acknowledged among the many prime seven sensible cities globally with a number of nationwide awards. Our engagement with peer municipalities has uncovered us to various approaches in sensible metropolis planning. These approaches span intensive infrastructure deployment, introducing varied modes of communication and layers of redundancy, citizen providers portals, kiosks, public Wi-Fi, and varied sensors to watch the standard of water, air, and different environmental elements and promote sensible policing.

“The essential function of cybersecurity can’t be overstated. It should stop to be an afterthought and as a substitute grow to be an integral a part of the know-how implementation course of.”

Our sensible metropolis journey commenced with a deal with environmental monitoring and public security policing. Within the realm of public security enhancement, we efficiently applied sensible policing initiatives, leveraging superior CCTV cameras and backend video analytics.

A poignant instance highlights the effectiveness of our efforts, as we swiftly positioned a misplaced little one throughout a metropolis occasion utilizing a video analytics suite. This underscores the tangible and impactful outcomes achievable by means of our sensible metropolis endeavors.

Do you’ve got any phrases of recommendation in your fellow professionals who’re about to embark on comparable ventures?

Metropolis executives typically encounter frequent hurdles, akin to acquiring approval, securing funding, and establishing efficient procurement channels, throughout initiatives taken for know-how deployment. These challenges persist throughout the C-suite, impacting people from CIOs to CISOs and CTOs.

To navigate these challenges efficiently, a crucial first step is aligning the initiatives with the strategic targets and plans of the group. This strategic alignment enhances the chance of acquiring administration approval and in addition streamlines the procurement course of. Strategic collaboration with friends can also be paramount in overcoming these obstacles.

One other notable side to consider is that authorities organizations like municipalities routinely interact in development actions. The requirement is to enter capital enchancment tasks inside public works departments and actively advocate for know-how and safety to grow to be integral parts of development undertaking budgets. This collaborative method will assist place know-how as an indispensable utility and facilitate a extra streamlined course of for its approval, funding and procurement.

How do you envision the way forward for the business?

The enterprise IT’s shift to a borderless mannequin introduces challenges, notably when improvements necessitate cloud integration and the enterprise group shouldn’t be actively engaged. Typically, a disconnect arises between the groups answerable for sustaining safety measures and for implementing new purposes on the cloud, resulting in potential safety vulnerabilities.

The necessity is to coordinate and combine completely different components of the IT infrastructure, notably when adopting new applied sciences like cloud providers. Common communications between completely different groups throughout the group may also help forestall silos and be certain that everyone seems to be working in the direction of frequent targets. Horizontal integration throughout groups is essential, with cybersecurity being the central a part of the plan to make sure a safe transition.

Organizations ought to be certain that their safety, enterprise, and software groups are concerned early within the strategy of adopting new applied sciences. This may also help determine potential safety dangers and be certain that acceptable safety measures are in place.

Whereas transitioning from a border-aligned enterprise system to a borderless enterprise mannequin with cloud providers, it is essential to increase present safety methods to the cloud. The main target needs to be on implementing brokers and enhancing their authentication, id administration and API infrastructure.

On this evolving panorama, the essential function of cybersecurity can’t be overstated. It should stop to be an afterthought and as a substitute grow to be an integral a part of the know-how implementation course of. This shift in method is critical to make sure adaptability and effectiveness within the fashionable IT setting, the place the borderless enterprise IT methods are the brand new norm.