IBM’S Smarter Planet
Along with the crisis in financial markets, the environmental crisis has brought forward new realities of complex global systems. This has also created a modified global integration, where people and organizations have realized that the world is truly connected economically, technically and socially.
The global woes of hurricanes, wild fires, disease outbreaks, famine, wastage of millions of gallons of fuel, air pollution, or disrupted public transportation, show a collapsing world because of poor planning, excessive demand, and strained infrastructure. From another angle it becomes clear that they are all propagated by a single culprit: a lack of quality information.
IBM is encouraging its employees to think even bigger, to scout out any dumb information network that can be made smarter. According to Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman of the Board, IBM, “We are looking at huge problems that couldn’t be solved before. We can solve congestion and pollution. We can make the grids more efficient. And quite honestly, it creates a big business opportunity.”
Ibmers are actively involved in helping industries around the world do something better, more efficiently and more productively and are building a ‘ Smarter Planet’ in their own unique way. Looking at the challenging problems as an opportunity, the good news from IBM is that now it has the technology to convert the analog distribution systems into multidirectional “smart” networks. Readily available sensor technologies like RFID chips and digital video can track movements in granular detail. Cheap data storage, powerful analytics software, and abundant computing capacity give us the ability to warehouse and make sense of all that information.
This gain of knowledge can overcome gridlocks which happen when drivers are not aware of congestion or how to avoid it, how to cut off bacteria at its source through transparent supply chain, and how accurate monitoring of power flow across the electricity grid can be done to locate a short.
As part of IBM’S attempt to save the planet, the smart networks provide the understanding of commuter traffic, electricity flow or the inner working of a crop genome. As a result of which, highways, utility grids and cash crops can be managed appropriately.
IBM’S Smarter Planet campaign also covers green retail to deliver business sustainability. It is a way to demonstrate corporate social responsibility by reducing the environmental impact of an enterprise while simultaneously delivering significant financial benefits.
Green retail starts with development of a green infrastructure. The IT infrastructure used to support a retail company can have large energy demands. A green retail solution can instrument, manage and optimize across many types of infrastructure – including green IT, data centers, facilities and building management systems.
IBM tools and processes meet green retail goals in following key areas:
Corporate strategy and brand
Corporate social responsibility roadmaps worldwide asset recovery services that reuse, remarket and recycle computers; and strategic carbon management that can analyze the carbon footprint and plan a response.
IBM SUREPOS and IBM Anyplace™ Kiosk have energy- efficient processors, power management and recyclable components.
IBM’S Carbon Tradeoff Modeler can analyze and manage supply chain climate impact; its Green Supply Network Optimization Workbench can help assess and optimize the carbon footprint associated with supply network facilities.
Enterprise data center
Server and storage solutions that include systems management, virtualization and IT infrastructure consolidation, liquid cooling and other energy- efficient technologies that can help reduce energy consumption by as much as 40 percent.
IBM Bladecenter® S
Simplifies technology management for retail stores, including servers, POS terminals and phone systems, while lowering energy costs as much as 35 percent.
IBM Global Business Services offerings include Green Strategy Development, a blueprint for meeting corporate social responsibly and green operations goals, and IBM Environmental Product Lifecycle Management for analyzing product life cycles to implement environmentally friendly design from planning to asset disposal.