IBM builds a smarter planet

Amid the global economic crisis of 2008, IBM began a conversation with the world about the promise of a smarter planet and a new strategic agenda for progress and growth.

As the internet grew, so did technology-driven enterprise needs and a truly global workforce. Computational power was being infused into things no one had thought of as computers: phones, cars, roads, power lines, waterways and food crates. A trillion connected and intelligent things were becoming a system of systems — an internet of things — and producing oceans of raw data.

Let’s seize this opportunity to create more and better jobs, cultivate valuable skills, and not simply repair but prepare our economy for the 21st century.

Sam Palmisano, IBM CEO and chairman, 2009

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Making sense of a sensored world

IBM introduced its Smarter Planet vision with an award-winning 1 marketing campaign designed to explain how a whole new generation of intelligent systems and technologies — more powerful and accessible than ever before — could be put to use for profound impact and to encourage further thinking. Smarter power grids, smarter food systems, smarter water, smarter healthcare, smarter traffic systems. And sophisticated analytics and algorithms that could make sense of it all.

Forward-thinking leaders and citizens around the world began to consider innovative ideas such as traveler-centric transportation, consumer-centric electric power and intelligent systems for managing healthcare, water, public safety and food. Within a year of the Smarter Planet initiative s launch, hundreds of IBM clients had seized on new capabilities to build smarter systems, and began achieving measurable benefits for their companies and communities. 2

Building on a smarter planet

Six years and thousands of clients after the Smarter Planet debut, IBM showcased its progress in a 2014 campaign, Made With IBM. The campaign showed IBM as an essential partner in providing technology building blocks for the new world at work — data, cloud, mobile, social and security.

In 2015 the Outthink campaign promoted the concept of cognitive business, with IBM Watson at its center. Smarter Planet had shown us an intelligent, instrumented and interconnected world. The Cognitive Era advances that idea using analytics, natural language processing and machine learning. The goal is systems that can understand, reason and learn; as IBM CEO Ginni Rometty explains, to redefine the relationship between man and machine.

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