[LINK] IBM MD on a smarter economy

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Jun 10 13:03:00 EST 2009


Greetings from the National Press Club in Canberra, where Glen 
Boreham, Managing Director IBM Australia is speaking on "Towards a 
smarter economy" <http://www.npc.org.au/upcomingSpeakers.html>.

Glen started by explaining he would be talking about social, economic 
and environmental issues, as well as technology. He touched on the 
global financial crisis, water shortages and Australia's economic 
ranking in the world.

IBM has a "Smarter Planet" initiative, with at its core the idea that 
with more information smarter decisions can be made: 
<http://www-07.ibm.com/innovation/au/smarterplanet/>.

I would argue that better information is needed, not more, but IBM is 
generally on the right track. Many of the examples Glen gave about 
using information for traffic congestion, electricity and water use 
require very small amounts of information and do not require 
broadband systems. Many of the examples would work well with a low 
bandwidth ubiquitous wireless network.

Mr. Boreham pointed out that the federal government is investing 
heavily in physical infrastructure in transport, buildings and 
utilities. These investments would deliver a far higher economic and 
social return with the application of ICT to optimise their use.

The Australian government, through AusAid, is funding Australian 
academics to help the governments and industries of other countries 
build smarter government and commerce. I suggest it would be a good 
idea to put some of the infrastructure investment into improving 
governance and business processes in Australia through ICT. This is 
only in part about technology, it is mostly about management skills 
in how to make effective use of the technology.

Even technology companies need to learn effective use of technology. 
IBM should lead by example by using smart systems, not just talk 
about them. Having the Managing Director of IBM Australia talk to a 
room of people in Canberra does not communicate the information very 
effectively. Even the live TV broadcast does not reach many people. 
It is disappointing that IBM did not offer any web pages or 
multimedia to complement the presentation. This would not be new to 
the Press Club as I gave the first multimedia address there in 1996 
on: "Australia's 'Net Futures": 
<http://www.acs.org.au/president/1996/epubs/npctw.htm>.

More on my blog at: 
<http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/2009/06/making-smarter-economy.html>.

ps: Thanks to IBM for the lunch.



Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  



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