IBM puts vast resources into Internet of Things unit

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IBM is planning to put vast resources into the Internet of Things. The company has announced a budget of US$3 billion over a four-year period for a new Internet of Things unit. IBM is also building a cloud-based open platform designed to help industries build IoT solutions.

IBM is already active in building practical IoT applications through its Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities initiative, which has seen a wide range of applications including water and waste management, alleviating traffic congestion and reduced building operating costs.

IBM’s new industry-specific cloud data services and developer tools will facilitate the integration of data from an unprecedented number of IoT and traditional sources. The data will be made available on an open platform to help manufacturers come up with connected devices that are better optimized for the IoT, and to help business leaders across industries create systems that can make optimal use of enterprise and IoT data to inform decision-making.

IBM estimates that 90 percent of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analysed or acted on. As much as 60 percent of this data begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated.

In addition to the IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries the company will set up a Bluemix IoT Zone, which will help leverage IoT data for app design.

A smart city (also smarter city) uses digital technologies, to reduce costs and resource consumption in areas like transport, energy use, water and waste to improve performance and enhance public wellbeing. IBM and other large IT and telecommunication companies like Cisco have been working on new solutions for intelligent cities that will manage resources better and provide better quality of life for citizens.

IBM has been helping cities around the world become smarter by designing strategies for collecting, sharing, analysing and acting on data. Miami-Dade County with its 34 municipalities is one example where agencies are sharing data from smart meters to analyse and detect water leaks in public open spaces, to improve the efficiency of public transport, and to do real-time crime analysis. IBM is also working with municipalities in Dublin, Melbourne, Australia and Montpellier, France.

At the same time IBM announced a major global strategic alliance with The Weather Company that processes data from thousands of sources. The IoT and cloud computing will collect data from more than 100,000 weather sensors, aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and moving vehicles, to provide maximum weather information to businesses.IBM plans to expand its ecosystem of IoT partners like AT&T, ARM and Semtech to ensure the secure and seamless integration of data services and solutions on IBM’s platform.