National Geographic : 2009 Sep
A mandate for change is a mandate for smart. Conversations for a Smarter Planet The world is ready for change --- that much is clear. For leaders of all kinds, this moment presents a rare opportunity. Our planet is not just getting smaller and flatter. It is also becoming smarter. And that means we have the potential to change the way the world literally works. Computational power is now being put into things we wouldn't recognize as computers --- cars, appliances, cameras, roadways...even pharmaceuticals and livestock. We are interconnecting all of this through the Internet, which has come of age. And we are applying powerful new systems and sophisticated analytics to turn oceans of data into insight, knowledge and intelligence. Consider the changes already under way. Smart traffic systems are helping to reduce gridlock by 20%, cutting pollution and increasing ridership on public transit. Smart food systems based on RFID technology embedded into supply chains are monitoring meat, poultry and other items from the farm to the super- market shelf. Smart healthcare systems are helping to lower the cost of therapy by as much as 90%. Police departments are correlating street-level information from myriad observations and devices to identify crime patterns --- helping prevent crime, rather than simply punishing it. The list is long, and the transformation is just beginning. Its benefits will be reaped not only by large enterprises, but also by mid-sized and small companies --- the engines of economic growth everywhere --- and by individuals and communities around the world. Imagine how a smarter planet will transform all the things we seek. The ways we pursue economic growth, societal progress, environmental sustainability and cures for disease. The way we interact with each other and with the world. The opportunity is before us, and the moment will not last forever. Will we seize it? As we look to stimulate our economies and rebuild our infrastructure, will we simply repair what's broken? Or will we prepare for a smarter future? Join us at ibm.com/smarterplanet IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml.