Tackling city and industry problems with the technology of a smarter planet. A conversation with Nancy Pearson
Shaku Selvakumar 060001XT47 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  bizagility cityone cloud soa bpm innov8 smartwork seriousgames collaboration
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contributed by Mary Forlenza
Nancy Pearson, vice president of IBM BPM, SOA and WebSphere Marketing, delivered a keynote address at the CityDesign 2010 event on September 14 in Denver, Colorado about helping cities work smarter. IBM’s smarter planet initiative asserts that as the world becomes more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent, technology has the potential to improve the way people, companies, industries, and man-made systems like cities work. We talked to Nancy to find out how cities and businesses can work smarter.
SmartSOANews: In what ways can cities work smarter to solve their major problems?
Nancy Pearson: What if a city could optimize around its citizens? Cities typically operate with different networks, infrastructures and systems for services such as transportation, communication, water and energy. Only when these networks are effective and efficient can cities serve their population successfully. Cities can use technology to help these systems become more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. With these improvements, cities can work smarter to seize opportunities and build sustainable prosperity.
SmartSOANews: Can you give an example of how technology has improved a city?
Pearson: One thing we’ve all experienced is traffic congestion. In the U.S. alone, it costs $87 billion in wasted fuel and lost productivity. Many cities are sitting on untapped data that could help them improve their transport systems. For example, the Singapore Land Transport Authority receives real-time data through roadway sensors. By using software to analyze the data, they predict traffic flows with up to 85% accuracy. A smart card system helps them to optimize routes and schedules. As a result, Singapore has reduced congestion, increased the use of public transit and increased revenue to maintain the system.
Another example is public safety, which is critical to overall quality of life and a key to attracting business and talent to a city. In New York, police commanders are using analytics and visualization tools to see crime patterns as they are forming. They use the city's Real Time Crime Center system to comb through millions of pieces of information, uncover data relationships, and deliver them in real time to police officers on the street through handheld devices. This system has contributed to a 27% drop in crime since 2001, and now New York is ranked as the safest large city in the country.
Cities can become more agile in several ways. They can adapt processes to meet the changing needs of the population. They can also build stronger communities of citizens, officials, and organizations. And they can integrate city systems to easily access information.
SmartSOANews: How does all this apply to businesses?
Pearson: Think of people, companies, industries and cities as part of a network – a network connected by processes and technology. Businesses and cities alike need to be more agile, improve their performance, and achieve higher levels of efficiency. By adopting smarter working practices and the right technology solutions, organizations can become a more dynamic, collaborative and connected part of this network and achieve the business outcomes they seek.
SmartSOANews: How does a serious game like CityOne make it easier to understand possible solutions to city and business problems?
Pearson: We’ve developed CityOne – a free serious game that will be available on ibm.com in October – to demonstrate how this network works. CityOne will give people an opportunity to actually experience the challenges faced by cities today and learn about the solutions and technology that can help address them, using the components of business process management, service reuse, cloud and collaboration. With each mission, players can see the impact on performance, budgets, and quality of life in a city. And they are scored on how well they help the city and its industries work smarter.
CityOne is a fantastic way to explain the complex systems involved in the issues that face cities and the banking, retail, energy and water industries. As part of the beta program, we are partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency, which has a keen interest in raising the public’s awareness of environmental issues. The game makes it easier for people to understand complex energy and water interactions. Players can see how the choices they make in the game affect environmental outcomes. Besides providing a fun way to learn, CityOne is meant to be a conversation starter around what actions stimulate change, and how investments today can prepare organizations for the future.
For more information on CityOne
Register to be notified when CityOne becomes available.
More than 7,000 people have pre-registered for the game, and there have been
more than 80,000 views of the trailer on YouTube. CityOne is also covered in a
special on the Discovery Channel called “Cities of the Future,” which began
airing in Asia September 24 and will continue to be broadcast around the world.
Visit the CityOne website and play the game
Follow CityOne: @ibmsmartwork @innov8game #cityone #seriousgames #smartwork
Join the CityOne Community on Facebook
Learn more about how BPM, SOA and collaborative technologies. Visit the Business Agility Launch Page #bizagility