IOD 2010: IBM heralds the 'Decade of Smart'

Rob Ashe

We are at the start of the "Decade of Smart", where being more intelligent in using data to drive better decisions is key to business success.

So claims Rob Ashe, general manager of business analytics at IBM, as he welcomed attendees to the IBM Information on Demand 2010 event today in Rome.

"The Decade of Smart, in my mind, is all about the possibilities," Ashe said.

He pointed to the abundance of data that is out there, which was recently highlighted in an IBM survey of chief executives, and Ashe claimed that there are opportunities to take advantage of the wealth of available information on both small and large scales.

On one level, leveraging this information can help make the entire planet "smarter", taking on "big challenges that we as a society have", Ashe said.

On the smaller scale, firms can also reap benefits from the smart use of data. "There are companies that have to pinpoint activities, behaviours of customers, who are moving faster than ever before and have more choices than ever before," he explained.

Analytics is key in helping businesses organise the information that is relevant to them. This includes data from the past and in the present using real-time analysis, while predictive analytics can help stand organisations in good stead for any future occurrences, Ashe said.

"IBM focuses on outcomes," Ashe added, explaining that analytics can assist firms with areas including fraud detection, customer insight and supply chain management.

Customers have already deployed analytics services to produce tangible returns, the general manager noted, such as a 50 per cent reduction in storage space or a 30 per cent decrease in unplanned outage.

Read on for more news from IBM's IOD 2010.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.