By John Armstrong
The current tech narrative is rife with examples of how data analytics has reshaped our world and the industries that play in it. Healthcare providers are able to analyze vast pools of data to improve patient care through greater understanding of an individual’s medical history or determine which treatment is likely to be most effective, for example. Retailers can keep tabs on their customer’s purchases to make product recommendations that are most inclined to catch their interest.
Buoyed by these successes, the industry is pushing data into new, unexpected corners. Recently, we’ve seen individual companies begin to experiment with how data can inform design, from a company’s products to the experiences they offer. It’s about taking something that was once largely art and enriching it through science.
For example, Nike experimented with what it calls “smart data,” using the right data and scenario planning to come up with more sustainable designs for its products, such as a dyeing technique that doesn’t need water. Continue Reading »
By Dan Ricci
Remember when car dealers pushed tinted windows, rust proofing, and keyless entry to sell cars? That’s ancient history for automakers. Today’s new competitive edge is centered around the Connected Car – and using real-time insights from big data inside and outside of vehicles to improve safety, enhance vehicle quality and enrich the driving and service experience.
Cars are rolling gold mines of information, gathering data about the driver, the driving environment and the car itself, as well as any connected devices. In fact, up to 25 gigabytes of data is generated from a single plug-in hybrid vehicle in just an hour.
And although auto manufacturers have been capturing telematics information for years, something different, more sophisticated is going on now and it has everything to do with big data and analytics. Continue Reading »
By Ron Ambrosio
Machines have been connecting to the Internet for many years. To the point that, in today’s Internet of Things, more “Things” are connected to the Internet than people. This evolution now has industrial equipment branching out of their closed control networks to connect to enterprise networks, and in some cases to the Internet, too. But it’s created a challenge in how that data is understood and used. So, we joined AT&T, Cisco, GE, and Intel to establish the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to help influence the global standards development process for how industrial equipment – like transformers in the grid – connect and communicate.
In the same way you connect to the Internet, whether over wifi or a mobile network, no matter where you go or what device you use, proprietary industrial equipment needs a standard way to communicate, too. Continue Reading »
By Bryan Smith
A generational shift is occurring in large organizations around the globe, in which first and second-generation mainframe programmers are retiring from the workforce and being replaced by millennials, eager to jumpstart their careers.
After all, people have a tendency to go where the jobs are, and mainframes provide a great opportunity for engineers just entering the workforce – not only to find positions, but to have a clear career path for decades to come.
Here at Rocket Software, for example, we have developers that support dozens of mainframe products. So we need skilled programmers and developers to keep innovating. That’s why we’ve hired a number of new team members and immersed them in the mainframe universe. If you’ve been in the business as long as I have, it’s refreshing to hear what up-and-coming mainframe professionals are saying about this technology and the opportunities it provides.
Here’s what some of our under-40 Rocketeers are saying: Continue Reading »
By Roger Pilc
Social and mobile platforms and applications are changing the way we communicate, run our businesses, buy and share goods and services. In our personal lives, we often see the social mobile revolution as a great virtual enhancement to our real-life interactions. For lack of a better phrase, mobile devices have almost single handedly cured the fear of missing out because we’re now always connected. For businesses, it’s fast becoming a competitive game changer that helps reach customers across vertical industries.
Checking in at a concert venue or adding a location to vacation photos shared in social media is handy for many of us as consumers. For businesses such as insurance firms, banks and retailers, adding location intelligence means saving and often generating millions of dollars as they assess, for example, how many insurance policy holders in a flood zone also experienced a hurricane, or how many ATMs and bank branches should be placed in the world’s largest cities, and where should each be placed. The economic risks and rewards grow very high, very fast. Continue Reading »
By Jim Spohrer
Moore’s Law describes the phenomenon that drives rapid progress in the electronics industry. Taking advantage of the laws of physics, engineers have been able to pack transistors ever more densely onto semiconductor chips, doubling their capacity every 18-24 months. The effect of this so-called “scaling” phenomenon is the ability to do more with less space, continuously increasing the capabilities and lowering the cost of computing. Rapid progress is built into the system.
Society’s efforts to scale higher education have not been so successful. Sure, the world’s developed economies handle an immense quantity of university students. In the United States alone, nearly 5,000 institutions of higher education serve more than 20 million students. Yet the way we have scaled up to produce the number of knowledge workers required by modern society is ineffective and unsustainable. In the US, the cost of higher education has increased by 1,120% over the past 35 years, four times the increase in the consumer price index. And stasis, rather than progress, is built into the system. Continue Reading »
By Kala Fleming
On the tiny island of Antigua where I grew up we always had enough water. We never had to call a water truck and to our knowledge, no one ever got sick from drinking the water in its natural state. The ‘natural’ state of water on Antigua is straight to the downpipe from the roof and into a concrete tank in the ground under each house. Community ponds also captured extra rainfall that others used for watering animals and washing cars.
Rainwater harvesting in the Caribbean provides a more reliable source of supply than piped systems and the geology of the region limits the availability of ground water. In the Virgin Islands, building regulations even require all new houses to harvest rainwater. So, in places such as urban Africa where ensuring water security has become increasingly tricky, why has this approach not caught on? Continue Reading »
By Dr. Eoin Lane
On World Water Day this year, IBM is exploring how fundamental shifts in technology can help address the world’s water problem. Dr. Kala Flemming from the IBM Research Lab in Kenya is an expert in this area and is working on a water project to solve ground water problems in sub-saharan Africa using something as simple as an app, a hashtag and citizens acting as sensors.
For much of Africa, people rely on boreholes as a source of water. This is a narrow shaft bored vertically in the ground and allows access to the underlying groundwater or aquifer. A borehole will have location coordinates (such as latitude and longitude), depth and also how much water is drawn from the borehole. Aquifer and groundwater constantly get replenished with rain water. However, if the aquifer is being drained faster than is it being replenished there is an issue. Continue Reading »
In February at Mobile World Congress, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty launched the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a first of its kind, global competition to encourage software developers to create mobile consumer and business apps powered by Watson. The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge encourages the millions of mobile developers around the world to build sophisticated cognitive apps that can change the way consumers and businesses interact with data using mobile devices. For more insight on the challenge and app development trends in general, the Smarter Planet blog turned to Matt Gross, founder of Mobile Monday Boston, a community of nearly 8,000 professionals interested in mobile, and Mobile First Software, a mobile strategy consultancy.
Smarter Planet: Analysts predict that by 2017, there could be 200 billion downloads of mobile apps. What do you view as the major factors driving that volume?
Matt Gross: The popularity of apps is driven by smartphone penetration, which is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s well over 50% in the developed world, and continues to accelerate in major emerging markets. In parallel, the data plans offered by carriers are falling in price and becoming less restrictive, while free Wifi access is also expanding. These converging factors continue to spur device usage, and make it easier than ever for users to download and utilize more apps. For many consumers, apps are becoming a primary channel to connect with brands they care about, and for organizations to extend offers to build customer loyalty and engagement. Continue Reading »
By Paige Poore
In today’s world of economic, social and political uncertainty, organizations are confronted with an ever-increasing range of risks to deal with. Meeting these demands in a global economy means today’s enterprise must be highly resilient and able to anticipate multiple risks. For IT risk management, this requires understanding of which of the most common threats are most likely to cause business and IT disruptions.
Virtually every aspect of your business is vulnerable to disruption. Some continuity issues could take your business offline for days, but even minutes of downtime can prove costly. Business and IT disruptions that result from business continuity and IT security failures will cost organizations an estimated average total of $19.6 million over the next 24 months.
With costs this significant, IT professionals, C-suite executives and business owners alike requirefact-based insight into the causes and financial consequences of these incidents—including the cost of damage to reputation and brand value. Continue Reading »