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Instrumented. Intelligent. Interconnected.

How we use data. How industries collaborate. How we make a smarter planet.

The world we live in is becoming increasingly instrumented and interconnected. This means that systems such as power grids, roads, waterways and appliances now have the ability to interact to simplify our lives. This is the concept of Smarter Planet, and thanks to IBM, it is becoming a global reality.

Smarter Planet is not just about long term change and adapting to the shifting needs of our modern society in order to secure a brighter future, it is also about securing short term return on investment (ROI). The most innovative organisations are those who are able to adopt new technology wholeheartedly and benefit in the long and short term. This is the message behind Smarter Planet. Smarter is now.

Industry by industry, process by process

A smarter planet, while global by definition, happens on the industry level. It is driven by forward-thinking organisations that share a common outlook: They see change as an opportunity, and they act on possibilities, not just react to problems.

Since introducing the smarter planet concept, IBM has collaborated with more than 600 organisations worldwide that each do their part in making this vision a reality. Leaders from many of these businesses and governments joined us in November 2010 for our Smarter Industries Symposium in Barcelona. There, they shared their own stories of building a smarter planet.

From the symposium came these 10 new industry reports, collectively The State of Smarter Industries - Barcelona 2010 (US). Each report shows how its industry is growing into the smarter planet concept, offers industry-specific solutions and demonstrates cross-industry collaborative opportunities for growth.


A series of conversations for a smarter planet


Industry leaders candidly discuss their new views on growth in the wake of recession, regulation and rebuilding reputations.

Traditional providers look beyond over-the-top to the cloud, and putting their most valuable untapped resource to better use.

Electronics, automotive, aerospace
Examining the common goal of using data to enhance product innovation, develop solutions and improve customer loyalty.

Energy and utilities
Modernization to handle smart grids, water concerns and other priorities will require collaboration and customer engagement.

New rules for the "new normal" of globalization, demographic change, environmental issues, technology and occasional chaos.


Facing the complex challenge of becoming one globally connected system with EMRs at its core and a new focus on the patient.

Examining “smarter” in an industry that is heavily regulated, risk averse and, by its own admission, not very innovative.

Oil and gas
Industry leaders regroup in the face of changing metrics and increasing demand for the fuel that drives the world.

Retailers discuss listening and other keys to nurturing the trust of increasingly sophisticated and fickle customers.

Plenty of passenger data is being collected, but not enough is used to integrate and improve travelers' end-to-end experience.


How it works

What does it mean to be smarter?

At IBM, we mean that intelligence is being infused into the systems and processes that make the world work—into things no one would recognise as computers: cars, appliances, roadways, power grids, clothes, even natural systems such as agriculture and waterways.

Data is being captured today as never before. It reveals everything from large and systemic patterns—of global markets, workflows, national infrastructures and natural systems—to the location, temperature, security and condition of every item in a global supply chain. Through social media, billions of customers, citizens, students and patients tell us what they think, what they like and want, what they're witnessing, in real time.

Intelligence—not intuition—drives innovation
But data by itself isn't useful. The most important aspect of smarter systems is the actionable insights that data can reveal.

Over the past two years, we've talked about what it takes to build a smarter planet. We’ve learned that our companies, our cities and our world are complex systems—indeed, systems of systems. Advancing these systems to be more instrumented, intelligent and interconnected requires a profound shift in management and governance toward far more collaborative approaches.