What does it mean to be smarter?

We are living in a time of turbulent change, putting pressure on businesses of all sizes, across all industries and even down to the individual. The world is also changing, in other fundamental ways. It is becoming smaller, flatter and smarter.

As a result, leaders across all types of enterprises are faced with new challenges in order to remain successful. Those organisations who address these challenges are best positioned to outperform in the coming years.

By smarter, we mean the world is becoming: instrumented, interconnected, intelligent.

The signs of a smarter planet are all around us.

The infusion of digital intelligence into the world’s systems is changing the way people, organizations and entire industries approach what they do—how they interact, organize and create value. Nowhere is the potential for transformation greater than in our cities. Around the world, city leaders are struggling with economic challenges, overtaxed infrastructures and dramatic demographic shifts. In more than 2,000 Smarter Cities engagements, we see forward-thinking leaders emerging with new approaches to make their communities smarter and to make them work better.

 

Smarter Law Enforcement

30% decrease in serious crime. 15% decrease in violent crime.

Memphis Police Department
Memphis Police Department precinct commanders start their day with data. A predictive analytics system looks for patterns in criminal activity that help the department see emergent trends in their communities in time to make a difference.

Inside the solution:
The system relies on predictive analytics software that correlates historic data with the latest incident reports to create multilayer maps of “hot spots.”

“Memphis Police Department now has the invaluable insight all of our staff can use—from the commanders to the patrolling officers—to specifically focus investigative and patrol resources with the goal of preventing crime and making our neighborhoods safer.”

– Colonel James Harvey, Commander, Ridgeway Station, Memphis Police Department

 

Smarter Water and Sewer Systems

70% increase in ability to track critical assets. 11% improvement in the ratio of preventative to corrective maintenance.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Drawing on usage data and many other variables, San Francisco is predicting and preventing breakdowns and reducing pollution from its sewer system’s 1,000 miles of pipes and three treatment facilities, which together process 500 million gallons of wastewater and storm runoff per day during the rainy season.

Inside the solution:
The system integrates asset management and geographic information software to locate and monitor assets such as pumps, fittings and other parts of the water infrastructure.

“Not only can we solve most problems within 24 hours, but we’re able to use insights from the data to reduce water pollution.”

– Tommy Moala, Assistant General Manager, SFPUC Wastewater Enterprise

 

Smarter Government Services

80% of participants felt more secure. 70% improved their mobility through exercises.

Bolzano, Italy, Remote Patient Monitoring
As part of a pilot to extend healthcare services without increasing costs, elderly citizens in Bolzano, Italy were given access to advice and medical attention from their homes, via mobile devices. In addition, wireless sensors monitored the environment within the homes, generating alerts delivered via SMS text message, email and Twitter to family members and social services professionals.

Inside the solution:
The solution was created by IBM with the support of TIS Innovation Park, developed on an application server, with data management and messaging software integrated with Android mobile devices.

“The monitoring network allows us to provide services with a human touch—but it’s now the right touch, at the right time.”

– Michela Trentini, Director of Social Planning, Bolzano

 

Smarter Transportation

80% reduction in lost transactions due to system issues. 100% increase in performance capacity to 20 million fare transactions per day.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority
Singapore commuters move easily among all forms of public transportation, thanks to a smart system that charges by distance, not by mode of transport. A highly intelligent algorithm constructs the ideal journey for each commuter across rail and bus lines. In the process, the Land Transport Authorty gets real-time insight to anticipate capacity needs.

Inside the solution:
The Authority’s fare processing clearinghouse uses data management, analytics and transaction processing software running on Power systems.

“By unifying our payment systems, we can build composite models of typical journeys, such as a person driving a car into the city, being charged for congestion, parking his car, catching the bus and then the rail.”

– Silvester Prakasam, Director of Fare Systems, Singapore Land Transport Authority

 

Smarter Operations Center

30% decrease in emergency response times.

Rio de Janeiro’s Integrated Operations Center
Rio de Janeiro’s operations center provides a single dashboard of the city’s critical systems. Information on weather, traffic and medical services helps city agencies anticipate looming problems, engage citizens as part of the solution and plan for major events, like the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games. A predictive weather forecasting system designed by IBM researchers helps model flooding patterns, identifying where events such as mud slides are likely to occur.

Inside the solution:
The Intelligent Operations Center combines patented analytics technologies, created by IBM Research in collaboration with the city, and collaboration, analytics and asset management software and systems integration expertise.

“Communicating with citizens about Rio’s day-to-day life is key. When people are well-informed, they act in ways that help the city work better.”

– Eduardo Paes, Mayor, Rio de Janeiro

 

So the above are some great examples from around the globe. In my opinion there are six imperatives that are fundemental for the enterprise to suceed. These are:

 

Smarter planet in the UK

Watch the video to learn how and why the UK is getting smarter.

 

6 Things You Must Know About Social Media and Your Workforce

By Eric B. Meye

Cisco just completed this study, which shows just how much social media, device freedom, and mobile work means to the next generation.

Thinking about banning social media in the workplace? Before you flip the kill switch, read this:

More than half of students (55 percent) and an even larger proportion of end users (62 percent) indicate they could not live without the Internet; and one-third of respondents in each subgroup consider the Internet to be as important as water, food, air, and shelter.
Half of those surveyed would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smart phone or mobile device.
More than two out of five 20-somethings would accept a lower-paying job that offered more choices in the device they use at work, social media access, and mobility compared with a higher-paying job with less flexibility.

Can you handle a productivity hit?

So it would appear that your young workforce seemingly can’t live without a Facebook fix. But can you handle the productivity hit? Consider these numbers:

Nearly three quarters of your young college-educated workforce indicate accessing their Facebook page at least once a day or more frequently. 1 in 10 have their Facebook pages up all day.
Seven in ten young college-educated employees have friended a co-worker, manager, or both on Facebook.
Approximately 43 percent of college students admit being distracted or interrupted by social media, IM, phone, or a desire to check Facebook, at least three times per hour.

For a good summary of the Cisco survey, click on the infographic below or click here for a summary of these surprising numbers

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Whatever your position on social media in the workplace, address it at the job interview.

The reality is that even if you restrict network access to social media, employees — young and old — are going to whip out their smartphones and hit up Facebook, Twitter and the Internet.
A question for the job interview

Obviously, each company has to decide for itself, whether employee use of social media is a good thing for business, a bad thing for business, or no thing at all. For those who consider it a bad thing, consider asking about social-media usage during the job interview. If you don’t bring it up, expect that college-grad candidate to broach the subject. The Cisco study indicates that two-thirds of college grads ask about social-media policies in job interviews.

When the topic of social media comes up, don’t ask candidates for their social-media logins and passwords to access to their private sites. That shows a complete lack of trust and, frankly, a candidate who takes precautions to protect what they post on the Internet from your eyes shows good judgment.

But, much like candidates will want to know whether Facebook at the office is feasible or firewalled, you should ask questions about the quantity — not quality — of social-media use. This will help you to determine whether these candidates, if hired, will devote more time in the office to work versus commenting on Facebook from work about workr