Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Welcome to the decade of smart

Earlier today, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano introduced the evolution of IBM's Smarter Planet initiative, heralding in "The Decade of Smart."

IBM - and the companies and governments we've worked with already in building a smarter planet - have learned a lot in the past year.  Our clients have learned just how game changing it can be.  To quote just a few examples from today's speech that are close to heart for me - ones that touch in particular on information and analytics:

Eight hospitals and 470 primary care clinics in Spain implemented smarter healthcare systems across their facilities—by making information available at the point of care to healthcare practitioners and applying insights into organizational performance. They improved clinical results and operational efficiency by up to 10 percent....

Four leading retailers have reduced supply chain costs by up to 30 percent, reduced inventory levels by up to 25 percent, and increased sales up to 10 percent. They've done so by analyzing customer buying behaviors, aligning merchandising assortments with demand and building end-to-end visibility across their entire supply chain.

As for what we at IBM have learned, I think Sam Palmisano summed it up best:  "We've learned that there is enormous hunger to learn how."

This is the same statement that you may have heard Arvind Krishna talk about in an interview recorded at IOD:  The questions that he kept getting over and over again were: "How can we get started, and what help are you going to give me to succeed?"  Not once - in over 50 meetings - was he asked "Why should I do this?"

It's a message we're hearing from all corners:

"Where to start?" Consider Don Spencer, associate director of medical informatics for the University of North Carolina. He decided that the place to begin was with the thorniest problem in his hospital system: the volume and disconnectedness of their data. The smart hospital solution Don built now enables doctors and administrators to see not just their individual patients but the whole practice.

You'll be hearing a lot more from IBM in the coming days and months about the decade of smart, and how you can get started. In the mean time, let me leave you with this closing thought:

You may be thinking that the last thing we need is more information raining down on us, more noise. But we now have the capability, with advanced software analytic tools, to extract value from data—to see the patterns, the correlations and the outliers. Sophisticated mathematical models are helping us begin to anticipate, forecast and even predict changes in our systems. That's the promise of a smarter planet.

Learn more about today's announcement: