Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

New Role: New Intelligence

How about that?  Apparently I have a blog!  :)

This has definitely been the longest dry spell I've had from a blogging standpoint since starting two years ago.  Much of the reason has to do with some changes going on at work.  Around 6 weeks ago now I took on a new role that, while extremely interesting and exciting, has not left a whole lot of time for blogging or much of anything else , (As I joked with a colleague early on, I spent the first week feeling around for exactly what I'd be doing, and the second week (and on) realizing that they should have had me (or someone else) in the role 2 months earlier.)

To get a bit more specific, I am working on the messaging and strategy for the part of IBM's new Smarter Planet initiative that is focused on New Intelligence.

If you're not familiar with the Smarter Planet work, you can read more about it here or here.  Sam Palmisano kicked it off last November in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations (watch the video, read the speech, or see the New York Times article on it), and before long was discussing it with the likes of President Obama (video below, text transcript here).

The basic premise is that we live in a world that is not only getting "flatter" and "smaller," but one that is becoming - and must become - smarter.  As Sam Palmisano said to the Council on Foreign Relations:

These collective realizations have reminded us that we are all now connected—economically, technically and socially. But we're also learning that being connected is not sufficient. Yes, the world continues to get "flatter." And yes, it continues to get smaller and more interconnected. But something is happening that holds even greater potential. In a word, our planet is becoming smarter.

This isn't just a metaphor. I mean infusing intelligence into the way the world literally works—the systems and processes that enable physical goods to be developed, manufactured, bought and sold… services to be delivered… everything from people and money to oil, water and electrons to move… and billions of people to work and live.

The Smarter Planet initiative is about how to take a new look at problems like energy consumption, healthcare, water supply, financial markets, and supply chains, and how we can make them smarter.  It's about looking to cities like Stockholm, whose smart traffic system has resulted in 20% less traffic and a 12% drop in emissions, or to healthcare companies that are able to lower the cost of therapy by as much as 90% through better patient monitoring and injection and vaccine delivery.

Under the broader Smarter Planet initiative, the focus of our efforts around New Intelligence are specifically on how companies can make better use of the flood of information now available to make more intelligent decisions.  We have seen a huge explosion not just in the volume of data, but the variety as well - with much of the new information coming in the form of e-mail, images, audio, video, and documents.  Smarter businesses are looking at how they can not only effectively consume and manage this explosion in data, but expand their usage to allow for predictive analytics and forecasting, to ensure they are getting the right information into the right hands with the speed at which they need to operate, and are otherwise optimizing their use of information to better run their business.

I'll be writing a lot more about this going forward, but in the mean time if you're not familiar with the Smarter Planet work, I'd encourage you to check out the links below.