Business Analytics Trends and Prediction Articles for 2014

Leading-edge businesses are already embracing advanced analytics solutions and services that can help them identify their most profitable customers, accelerate product innovation, optimize supply chains and pricing, and identify the true drivers of financial performance. These leading-edge businesses will be successfully prepared for the cognitive systems era.

I recently published my trend report Business Analytics:  Trends to Watch in 2014 out on slideshare.   The report provides an overview of Big data and what to watch in 2014.  Below I’ve provided you some articles on this trend that I thought you would want to read.

Source Title
B2C Business 2 Community 2014 – The Year of Predictive Analytics for SMBs
Information Week IT Must Deliver Visual, Mobile-Friendly Data Analytics
Enterprise Apps Today Top Business Intelligence Trends For 2014
Heather Hiles (Pathbrite) Big Idea 2014: Move Over, Big Data—It’s Time for Personal Analytics
Forbes Five Business Intelligence Predicitons for 2014
Cloud times Predictive Analytics is the Next Growing Sector in Big Data Market
International Institute for Analytics Forecasting the Future of Analytics: 2014 Edition
IIIA (IIA) Announces Nine Analytics Predictions for 2014
Information Management 11 Data Visualization Experts You Should Follow on Twitter
Revolution Analytics 14 Analytics Predictions for 2014

 

Internet of Things (IoT) Trend and Prediction Articles for 2014

The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of physical objects (“things”) that have chips, sensors and actuators embedded in them that allow the sensing, capturing and communication of all types of data. These devices are then linked through both wired and wireless networks to the Internet. The IT challenge is to design IoT enabled systems and then leverage the information collected as a tool to help decision makers make better decisions.

I recently published my trend report Internet of Things: Trends to Watch in 2014 out on slideshare.   The report provides an overview of Internet of Things (IoT) and what to watch in 2014. Below I’ve provided you some articles on this trend that I thought you would want to read.

Source Title
InterSog How wearable technology will change future mobile paradigm [Part 1]
ComputerWorld.IN Internet of Things: 2013 Highlights & Outlook 2014
CNBC Wearable tech: What it needs to be a game-changer
Credit Suisse The Future of Wearable Technology
ZDNet AT&T’s predictions for the enterprise in 2014
Cisco Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything
Digital-MR Driving Better Business Decisions With Social Media Research And The Internet Of Things
Forbes Credit Suisse Says Warable Tech The Next Big Thing
InfoTales 5 Things to Look Forward to in the Future of Wearable Technology
MsM News Will the ‘Internet of things’ be a thing in 2014?

 

IBM’s 5 in 5 List for 2013: Humans and Computers Become Smarter Together

IBM 5in5 2013Every year around this time, the IBM Research team publishes a list called “5 in 5”.   The list is based on research into market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Research labs around the world.  As a foresight analyst, I love these annual lists as it’s a little bit of trends research readout and a little bit of scenario planning that’s all designed to get people thinking and talking about how our lives will be transformed in the near future by technologies that are being developed today.

This year’s IBM 5 in 5 explores the idea that humans and computers will become smarter together and as a result of learning insights from the vast amounts of data.  The 2013 5 In 5 lists explore scenarios in education, retail, healthcare, security and our cities.   IBM says that in the future, everything will learn – driven by a new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and engage with us in a more natural and personalized way. These innovations are already beginning to emerge, enabled by cloud computing, big data analytics and learning technologies all coming together. Over time, these computers will get smarter and more customized through interactions with data, devices and us.  Humans and computers will learn faster and the result will be that we will be able to solve previously unsolvable problems in education, retail, healthcare, security and our cities.

So this year’s 5 in 5 from IBM is as follows

1. The Classroom Will Learn You.    IBM says that the classroom of the future will give educators the tools to learn about every student, providing them with a tailored curriculum from kindergarten to high school and on to employment. In the next five years the classroom will learn about each student using longitudinal data such as test scores, attendance and student’s behavior on e-learning platforms, not just aptitude tests.  Sophisticated analytics delivered over the cloud will provide decision support to teachers so they can predict students who are most at risk, their roadblocks, and then suggest measures to help students conquer their challenges based on their individual learning style.  For more, read the full story around “The Classroom Will Learn You” 
2. Buying Local Will Beat Online.   Today, most physical stores are limited to the insights they can gain at the point of sale – and the trend of showrooming is making it harder to compete with online retailers who compete solely on price.  IBM says that In five years, new innovations will make buying local du jour once again.  Savvy retailers will use the immediacy of the store and proximity to customers to create experiences that cannot be replicated by online-only retail.  They will magnify the digital experience by bringing the web right to where the shopper can physically touch it.   For more, read the full story around “Buying Local Will Beat Online” 
3. Doctors Will Routinely Use Your DNA To Keep You Well.   Imagine if treatment could be more specific and precise – where computers could help doctors understand how a tumor affects a patient down to their DNA and present a collective set of medications shown to best attack the cancer.   IBM is predicting that in five years, advances in big data analytics and emerging cloud-based cognitive systems coupled with breakthroughs in genomic research and testing could help doctors to accurately diagnose cancer and create personalized cancer treatment plans for millions of patients around the world.  Smart machines will take the output of full genome sequencing and scour vast repositories of medical records and publications to learn and quickly provide specific and actionable insights on treatment options for oncologists.  For more, read the full story around “Doctors Will Routinely Use Your DNA To Keep You Well”    
4. A Digital Guardian Will Protect You Online.  IBM says that by 2019, each of us could be protected with our own digital guardian that will become trained to focus on our digital and physical assets, offering a new level of identity theft protection. Security will assimilate contextual, situational and historical data to verify a person’s identity on different devices. By learning about users, a digital guardian can make inferences about what’s normal or reasonable activity and what’s not, acting as an advisor when they want it to.  For more, read the full story around “A Digital Guardian Will Protect You Online”     
5. The City Will Help You Live In It.    IBM has been leading the discussion around Smarter Cities  for about five years.   IBM is saying now that within five years Smarter Cities will be able to react more in real time.  Computers will learn to understand what people need, what they like, what they do, and how they move from place to place.   Soon it will be possible for cities and their leaders to understand and digest new information freely provided by citizens, knowing which city resources are needed, where and when, so the city can dynamically optimize around the needs of the citizens.   For more, read the full story around “The City Will Help you Live In It”.

There is much more content for you to learn more about each one of the 5 in 5 prediction scenarios.   For more information, you can check out

And, if you want to, you can explore all the past lists of IBM 5 in 5 projects and how those technologies have progressed since appearing on the list.  For that go to Five in Five—where are they now?

28 Internet of Things (IoT) Trends and Prediction Articles for 2013

Internet of Things For the last 10 posts I’ve been sharing my research with you around top trends for 2013. I’ve covered everything from Social Business to Big Data to Cloud Computing.   Today I am sharing a list of 28 articles and blog posts that discuss the developments we might see in 2013 around the trend called “Internet of Things” or IoT for short.

The IoT refers to the explosion of embedded sensors and intelligent devices that are flooding our every day lives.  Sensors are being embedded in all sorts of ‘things’ from fitness monitors, to cars, to water main valves.   There are forecasts from industry analysts that say there will be up to 100 billion uniquely identifiable objects connected to the Internet by 2020.  Many of these devices will be able to talk to other devices and computers without any human intervention.  Enterprises can deploy their own sensor networks, building sense and respond systems that can work autonomously.  Some say that the IoT will be the most disruptive technological revolution since the advent of the World Wide Web. 

Below you will find a list of 28 articles that discuss the IoT and what developments we might expect to see in 2013. 

Source Title of Article / Blog Post
AlertMe CES 2013 and The Internet of Things
BusinessWeek CES 2013: Connected Devices and the Internet of Things
Connect.innovateuk.org 2013 likely to be a big year for IoT
Elizabeth Presson 2013 Forecast: The Internet of Things is Changing Your World, So Pay Attention
Elizabeth Presson The Internet of Things at CES 2013
Fierce Wireless Europe 2013 M2M predictions
Forbes CES 2013: The Break-Out Year For The Internet Of Things
Forbes CES 2013: The Four-Sentence Summary
Forbes How The Internet Of Things Will Change Almost Everything
formtek.com The Internet of Things: Engine of Economic Growth?
Frost & Sullivan Global Increase in Adoption of Real-Time Location Systems Depends on Technological Innovations
IT Watch Dogs In 2013, expect the ‘Internet of Things’ to take off
M2MWorldNews Deutsche Telekom M2M predictions for 2013
MediaPost The Internet Of Things And The Data It Will Produce
MIT Technology Review 2013: The year of the Internet of Things
newelectronics.co.uk Outlook 2013: Are you ready for the ‘Internet of Things’?
RCR Wireless 2013 Predictions: M2M and the ‘Internet of things’ in 2013
SemanticWeb How the Internet of Things Will Reshape the World in 2013
SemanticWeb.com 2013: The Year of the Internet of Things
Solid State Technology 2013: Building the internet of things with MEMS and 3D advances
sourcedigit.com Why 2013 is going to be the year of the Internet of Things
TechRepublic 2013’s hot topic: The Internet of Things (and our new way of covering it)
The Next Web Quantified Self and the Internet of Things: Everyone is collecting your data, so why shouldn’t you?
The Next Web Why 2013 will be the year of the Internet of Things
ThreeWill Predictions – Internet of Things
VentureBeat 2013: The Internet of things, delivered via smartphone
Venturebeat.com 2013 will be the year of ‘the Internet of things’ as more than 5B wireless chips ship
Wired 2013 and the Internet of Things

IDC Energy Insights Predictions for 2012 Utilities Industry

I recently attended IDC Energy Insights Predictions 2012:  Utilities conference call today.  I look forward to the IDC Insights series of conference calls every year as it helps me understand the critical issues and trends that impact Information Technology decisions within a particular industry. 

In this case, the predictions were focused on the Utilities industry with an emphasis on North American issues.  There are other calls coming up that focus on Europe and Asia.   

Leading the conference call was the IDC Energy Insights team of Jill Feblowitz, Jay Holman, Sam Jaffe, Usman Sindhu, Casey Talon and Marcus Torchia

Summary and Key Themes

IDC Energy Insights says in 2012, the industry is entering a ‘post stimulus’ period.  While funding has dried up, there are areas where investment spending is growing, such as Solar PV installations.   Other investment areas include Smart Grid, Smart Buildings, Electric Vehicles, and Energy Storage.

The 2012 predictions list below was sourced from the conference call slides.

  1. Smart Meters. “Smart meters will peak in 2012, propelling demand response, but spending tempered for now”.
  2. Smart Grids. “Distribution automation will lead smart grid control investments with 13% CAGR”
  3. Smart Buildings. “Smart building technology investments will gain more traction with utilities”
  4. Electric Vehicles. “120,000 plug-in electric vehicles will be sold in North America in 2012”
  5. Lithium Batteries. “Lithium-Ion large format batteries will reach $600 per kWh by the end of the year”
  6. Solar PV Installations. “Despite the 1603 Treasury Grant expiring in 2011, PV installations will grow by >25% in 2012”
  7. Commercial PV. “>60 MW of commercial PV installations will incorporate micro-inverters or DC optimizers in 2012”
  8. Security & Risk. “Security and risk will continue to grab decision maker’s attention, leading to increased budgets”
  9. Big Data Analytics. “Utilities will invest in analytics in anticipation of big data”
  10. IT Spending. “IT spending by North American utilities will increase by 4.5% % over the next four years”

For More Information

IDC Government Insights: 2012 Technology Predictions and Trends

imageI attended IDC Government Insights Predictions 2012:  Government conference call today.  I look forward to the IDC series of conference calls every year as it helps me understand the critical issues and trends that impact Information Technology decisions.  

The conference call was led by IDC Vice President Thom Rubel, and IDC Research Directors Ruthbea Clarke, Shawn McCarthy, and Adelaide O'Brien 

Summary and Key Themes

IDC says that the Government spending on IT in the U.S. will reach $82B.  The majority of that is Federal, with spending at the Federal level split about evenly between DoD and Civilian initiatives.  IDC expects the majority of this spending will be allocated to improve decision-making, operational efficiency, and citizen services for 2012

Overall, IDC believes there are four overall themes to watch in Government spending for 2012:

  1. Operational Efficiency:  Broader strategies are need to reduce operational costs
  2. Mobility:  Better management and provision of services are required
  3. Smart Government:  Improve the value of information and broaden service channels
  4. Economic Sustainability:  Investing to improve quality of life and promote economic growth/competitiveness

Top Ten Predictions for 2012

The 2012 predictions lists are developed from IDC analysts, who draw upon their ongoing discussions with industry clients, vendors, and years of experience.  The list below was sourced from the conference call slides.

  1. Cloud Computing.  “Up to 10% of States will have shared cloud hubs by the end of 2012, rapidly growing to 65% of the States by 2015”.
  2. Social Media.  “The use of social media for U.S. Local, State, and Federal organizations will begin the move from experimental to systematic information dissemination and collection.”
  3. Mobility.  “Mobility will become the number 1 IT governance issue and moves beyond device management to encompass broader business issues.”
  4. DataCenters.  “Small datacenters in the U.S. Federal government will hit the endangered species list in 2012 and be reduced by 70% with State and Local governments following suit.”
  5. Business Process Outsourcing.  “Over 20% of government IT and business process outsourcing requests for proposals will include service-level agreements tied to internal business and/or program outcomes.”
  6. Smart Cities“The growing availability of intelligent technology solutions will accelerate global investment in smart city technologies to $40.9 billion in 2012.”
  7. Service Level Agreements.   “Due to increased use of cloud computing, CIOs will spend up to 20% of their time in 2012 reviewing the terms and conditions of service-level agreements and mover toward standardization.”
  8. Big Data.  “Governments will take small steps to satiate their big appetite for Big Data.”
  9. Communication Networks.  “Foundational high-speed communications networks will finally hit critical mass.”
  10. Smarter Government.  “Governments will start updating legacy systems and engage in cross-agency collaboration that will move them to a higher stage in smart government maturity.”

The last few minutes of the conference call was spent going over recommendations and guidance to those in governments and those at vendors who serve governments.

For More Information

IBM Relaunches Smarter City Initiative With An Innovative Portal

IBM has relaunched it's Smarter City initiative and the website portal is something you should visit to experience.  It is truly an immersive, interactive experience designed to show how cities all over the world are using advanced technology to help address some of the biggest problems facing our planet.  

 Smarter City Portal
It is a fact…our cities are getting larger and larger.  With that growth comes significant challenges for city leaders.  Increasingly, city operations are being digitized, creating brand new data points.  With the greater digitization of its core systems and the use of advanced analytic capabilities, cities can enhance decision-making and improve urban planning.

The Smarter City portal allows you to explore and experience how Smarter Technology can have an impact on making a city more sustainable, more intelligent, and simply better places to live and work.  At the portal, you have options to learn more about how technology can impact all areas of a Smarter City, including Transportation (all forms of transportation), Public Safety, Communications, Energy & Utilities, Healthcare, Social Services, Education,  Retail, Economic Development and other critical operations that make up a large urban city today. 

I suggest you give it a visit and explore this innovative portal at www.thesmartercity.com

Frost & Sullivan: Global Megatrends Shaping Our Future

Today I attended a webinar offered by research firm Frost & Sullivan that was titled “Mega Trends that will Shape the Future of the World”.  The stated purpose of the webinar was to discuss the most important global mega trends, potential scenarios of specific trends in 2020, and the implications of these mega trends in transforming society, markets and cultures. 

The webinar was jointly led by Frost & Sullivan Partner Sarwant Singh and Frost & Sullivan Team Leader Archana Amarnath. For those of you who want to view the webinar, at the end of this post I have the embedded the webinar, courtesy of Frost & Sullivan and Bright Talk.

I really enjoyed the webinar.  Here is my review of the megatrends covered during the webinar.

1)  Urbanization.   Frost confirms a trend that we’ve seen mentioned by others.  That is that the world’s population is increasingly shifting towards an urban environment.  Frost says that this trend will result in mega cities, mega regions, and mega transportation/business corridors.   Technology will be applied to enhance living and business activities within these mega-environments.

As a result of the urbanization trend, technology companies will try to address issues that impact consumer and business activities.  Frost predicts there will be an increased focus on making cities ‘Smarter’.  There will be over 40 global cities to achieve a designation of being “SMART” by 2020.  Frost says that more than 50% of the smart cities of 2025 will be from Europe and North America.   As the worlds businesses competes to realize the smart city opportunity, Frost expects there to be a convergence of smart city technology that will ultimately lead to convergence of competition in three different industries 1) Energy Infrastructure Players, 2) IT Players, and 2) Automation/Building Control Players.

2) Social Trends.  Frost mentioned three sub-trends here 1) Geo Socialization, 2) Generation Y and 3) Reverse Brain Drain.   

Geo Socialization.  Frost says Geo Socialization services will become an important part of the landscape in 2020 as we’ll see all sorts of location based services being pushed to mobile consumers and mobile business workers.

Gen Y.  There will be an increased focus placed on new and innovative products and services that cater to the values, beliefs, interests, and lifestyles of the younger generation.  A prime market will be the younger generation in India and China, who are increasingly displaying four key characteristics as consumers

  • Personalization and Individualization
  • Techno Savvy and Connected 24×7
  • Civic and Environmentally Friendly
  • Demanding and Impatient – “Fast and the Furious

Reverse Brain Drain.  Frost expects there to be a migration of skilled and educated workers from developed companies back to their homelands to fill a shortage of CXO Positions In BRIC countries.  Frost also says that many Europeans and Americans will seek jobs in these developing countries in the future in order to participate in the huge growth economies that are materializing.

3) Increased Satellites In Orbit.   Frost expects that by 2020 there will over 900 satellites will be launched annually around the globe. While this will cause a traffic jam in space, all those satellites will enable a whole set of new and innovative applications and services.

4) Cyber Warfare.  Frost is concerned that by 2020 cyber warfare will become an everyday occurrence.  In fact, Frost says that if there is a World War 3 in our future, cyber warfare will play an important part. 

5) Robot Technology.   Frost paints a strong future for robots across all sectors of the economy.  Future robots will utilize artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to be able to help us with everyday decision making.  The top applications for industrial robots will be in Robots in Space, Military, Healthcare

6) Virtual Worlds.  Frost says that by 2020, 3D simulated environments will be used to significantly enhance consumer and business activities.   Simulation and virtual world technology will change the way we interact with users and data.  For example, virtual shopping will allow customers to try products without leaving their homes.   Virtual surgeries will allow doctors to train for new types of procedures just like airplane pilots train in flight simulators today.  Frost explained that haptic technology is an an enabling technology for these immersive virtual and simulation environments in the future.

7) Cloud Computing.   Frost says we will have smart clouds by 2020.  These will be flexible and customized clouds created by consolidation of different off premise hybrid cloud services.  Cloud computing will allow future information technology infrastructures to  be scaled up or down as the workload demands.  Key enabling technologies will be  API standards and cloud security standards.

8) Innovating to Zero.   As we move towards 2020, there will be a focus on using emerging technologies to minimize failures.  Governments and businesses alike will strive to reach a level of zero security accidents, zero facility failures, zero emissions, zero accidents.   Frost mentioned initiatives in Norway as well as initiatives in the power generation generation industry to enable innovative zero emission technologies including Wind energy, Solar PV Cells, Ocean energy, Geothermal Energy, Bio Fuels, and Travelling Wave Reactors.

9) Infrastructure Development and New Transportation Corridors.  Frost expects higher spending on travel, transportation, and utilities infrastructures.  Frost mentioned the highest spending may be in water management systems, but also mentioned power generation/distribution, Road & Rail, and Air/Seaports.    Frost provided the example of the Trans-Siberian railroad.   This new transportation corridor will result in industrial and business hubs along the railroad, much like “Route 66” did to the American landscape.  Development of Trans-Siberian railroad will have significant socio economic and business impact to Russia. 

10) E-Mobility.  Frost expects that over the next decade all sorts of new forms of personal transportation vehicles will make its way to the economy.  Many of these will target urban commuters who just need to get to work and back.  Frost says that 40 million electric 2 and 4 wheeled vehicles will be sold annually around the globe by 20120.   

11) Healthcare:  Spending will rise globally.  Frost says that if the current spending trend continues, Healthcare spending will almost double by 2050.  Some countries will end up spending 20-30% of their GDP on Healthcare.   Spending will transition away from treating and more for predictive analytics that will be used to help diagnose and monitor conditions before they become serious.


A BrightTALK Channel

For more information.

A Primer On Water Management Issues

IBM Water Mgmnt Icon Today is Blog Action day at water.org.  It's a good time to get the word out to everyone on water management issues. Read more about water.org's blog action day at Blog Action Day – Working Together To Solve The Water Crisis.  This post is my contribution to the Blog Action Day.

Most of us reading this post take our access to water for granted.  However, I would imagine that we all realize that water is critical to sustaining life on our planet.  Water makes up 60 to 70% by weight of all living organisms and is essential for photosynthesis.  If the Earth’s water supply vanished, there would be no plants, no animals, and no people. 

While the Earth’s water is not vanishing, many scientists believe that our global water supply is in crisis.  We may or may not be at the crisis stage, but we definitely need to take action to solve our water management issues.

Some Quick Facts About WaterWater Wasted

  • Water covers 75% of the earth's surface.  Nearly 98% of the earth's water is in the oceans.  Fresh water makes up less than 3% of water on earth, over two thirds of this is tied up in polar ice caps and glaciers.  Fresh water lakes and rivers make up only 0.009% of water on Earth and ground water makes up 0.28%.
  • It takes 700 gallons of water to make a cotton T-shirt, 2,000 gallons to make one gallon of milk, and 39,000 gallons to make a car.
  • Global agriculture wastes an estimated 60% of the 2,500 trillion liters it uses each year. 
  • Municipalities lose as much as 50% of their water supply through leaky infrastructure.  
  • More than one trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks.
  • 1 in 5 of the word’s population still lacks access to clean, safe drinking water. 
  • The United Nations predicts that nearly half the world’s population will experience critical water shortages by the year 2080.
  • There are nearly 53,000 different water agencies in the United States alone, each managing a short stretch of river or a handful of reservoirs. 
  • In the last 100 years global water usage has increased at twice the rate of population growth.

For those of us living in developed nations, our water infrastructure is many decades old.  In fact, in some places it is centuries old.  As our demand for water is increasing, we need to modernize the existing infrastructure.  One way to do that is to apply information technology.

Today’s water management systems are operating without enough data and insights.   The planet needs new water management systems, based on smart technology that can collect and analyze real-time data.  These new systems will provide water authorities with the insights they need to supply more water to more people with lower energy-use and cost. 

How Can Technology Help?

What is needed are water management systems that can provide real time collection and analysis of all sources of data.  This includes integrating disparate sensor technologies that produce disparate data formats along with other data from an array of partners.  Information technology solutions are needed that can take data that’s coming in fast and turn it into intelligence that augments the ability to improve decision making about water distribution.  These solutions need to connect the folks in the central control room with those working in the field building bridges, dams, dykes to the sensor experts and sophisticated modelers.

  • Technology can monitor, measure and analyze entire water ecosystems, from rivers and reservoirs to the pumps and pipes in our homes.
  • The latest water meters, combined with appropriate Water Management solutions can provide a single, reliable, up-to-the minute and actionable view of water use for a government, a business, or a home.   These ‘smart’ water meters can provide real-time insight into water use, raising awareness, locating inefficiencies and decreasing demand.
  • Advanced sensors can help us collect all sorts of new data on water usage.  For example, sensors on levees can monitor changing flood conditions and respond accordingly.  Sensor based systems can provide the agriculture industry with detailed information on air quality, soil moisture content and temperature to calculate optimal irrigation schedules.
  • Advanced computing, analytics, and simulations can help us all move beyond “real time” to prediction, supporting better-informed policy and management decisions.
  • Technology can also be applied to our oceans to gather data on water temperature, currents, wave strength, salinity and marine life, and applying algorithms that can forecast everything from wave patterns over 24 hours to the right time to harvest mussels.

IBM Water Management Solution Areas

IBM is taking a leadership role among technology vendors in researching, piloting and developing a whole suite of water management solutions.  Taking a look at what IBM is doing can help us see the areas where technology can be applied to solve water management issues

  • Natural Water Resources – Provides sensor data integration, analysis and visualization to enable the measurement, modeling and management of water levels, usage and quality in natural water resources.
  • Water Utilities – Enables water providers to make rapid decisions regarding business processes and operational efficiency to maximize their return on investments as well as foresee and quickly respond to contamination issues and emergencies.
  • Water Infrastructure – Provides sensing systems for managing water infrastructure, such as levee oversight management and flood control.
  • Water Metering – Improves management of water supply and demand by integrating data between the dozens of stakeholders involved. Provides all stakeholders with consistent, real-time information to help them work together to make critical decisions about water supply in a geographic region.
  • Green Sigma for Water™ – is a business consulting service that identifies where water is being used, measures and monitors usage, and creates process improvements to reduce water use. IBM pilots have achieved reductions in water usage of 30%.
  • SmartBay Sensor System – Monitors wave conditions, marine life and pollution levels.  Provide real-time information to stakeholders in the Irish maritime economy, runs on a cloud computing platform, and is able to predict water conditions critical to those stakeholders.

Innovative Water Management Vendors

The Artemis Project held its second annual Artemis Project Top 50 Water Companies Competition during the spring of 2010.   These vendors are all coming up with some very innovative and creative solutions to Water Management issues.  Check out the winners:  A list of the 50 is here.   View a poster show of this year’s winners here.

What Is Needed

More work is needed as we transform the water infrastructure to digital technology:

  • Continue to Build Awareness for Water Issues.  Many in leadership positions are not aware of the critical need for water management information technology solutions.
  • Continue Market Testing & Solutions Platform Development.  Technology vendors need to continue to build assets and test solution platforms.  Stronger linkages are needed across the growing ecosystem.
  • Continue to Build Thought Leadership Deliverables.  Tech vendors need to develop content highlighting case studies, references, demonstrations, and white papers.

For More Information

There is a bunch of more reading material available.  Here some links…

New Transportation Study Says Urban Sprawl Causes Congestion

Driven Apart For years now, The Urban Mobility Report, issued every two years by the Texas Transportation Institute, has been regarded by many transportation and urban planning experts as the ‘bible’ on traffic congestion issues.   The report has been used to justify large road improvement projects throughout the country in an attempt to solve major metropolitan traffic congestion problems.

However, a new report from CEOs for Cities offers a dramatic critique of the 25 year old industry standard created by the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report (UMR).  The report provides a new look at traffic congestion and suggests there are additional reasons why  Americans spend so much time in traffic.  The report

The new report titled Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse says the solution to the congestion problem has much more to do with how we build our cities than how we build our roads.  The report says that we need new metrics like 'total trip distance’ and ‘total travel time’, metrics that are not currently in the The Urban Mobility Report.

The report ranks how long residents in the nation’s largest 51 metropolitan areas spend in peak hour traffic, and in some cases the rankings are almost the opposite of those listed in the 2009
Urban Mobility Report.  Here’s a list from the report of the 10 cities (out of the 51 studied) where commuters spend the most time getting to work every day. 

Cities Avg. hours per year in traffic
Detroit – Warren – Livonia 179
Indianapolis – Carmel 166
Louisville / Jefferson County 165
Raleigh – Cary 161
Birmingham – Hoover 159
Oklahoma City 154
St. Louis 153
Memphis 152
Richmond 147
Kansas City 142

The report says that compact cities are the real answer to reducing traffic delays.  The key is to have land use patterns and transportation systems that enable their residents to take
shorter trips and minimize the burden of peak hour travel.   These conclusions are very different than those of the UMR, which has long been used to measure traffic congestion and has been used to justify road improvement projects costing millions of dollars.

It’s nice to have a fresh look at the traffic congestion issue.  Thanks CEO for Cities!

For more information, you can access the report (exec summary AND the detailed report) and supporting press release, graphics, etc. by heading over to http://www.ceosforcities.org/work/driven-apart

Intelligent Transportation Scenario: Advanced Traveler Information Systems

LONDN023 I’m wondering when in the future will we arrive at a place where there will be open standards for traffic information that will allow us to have Advanced Traveler Information Systems.  

Traffic information is certainly needed by everyone.  That means we need to have it available on all sorts of devices using all sorts of applications.   So why not open standards so the information can be available and used to help us all get from point A to point B in less time and with less frustration/hassle?

I see a future where Advanced Traveler Information Systems are capable of advising travelers of suggested travel route changes due to traffic congestion changes…all in real time.  An integrated system would need to be able to draw real-time information from any type of transportation in the region, then process that information against the traveler’s requests/needs,  then provide that information back to the traveler in the format needed for the traveler’s device and application.

Here is a scenario….

Monday evening

1. Jack receives an email from his global head of marketing that an important client will be visiting London to discuss a new deal. Jack is to host dinner for the global client on Friday evening at Nobu in London.

2. Jack books a table over the Internet for 1900 on Friday and puts the details into his Lotus Calendar.

Friday

10:00 – The day has not started well: Jack is in back-to-back meetings the entire day with some client issues.

17:30 – Jack’s online calendar reminds him of the dinner and alerts him of his travel options based on reaching the restaurant by 1900:

  1. Taxi: due to ongoing road works on the route, there is a bad traffic jam along the route – he would need to leave the office by 1800. The estimated cost was £25.
  2. Bus: as there were bus lanes throughout the route, the road works would not impact the journey too significantly – he would need to leave the office by 1810. The cost would be £2.
  3. Tube & walking: the Piccadilly line was currently on schedule; he would need to start walking to the Tube by 1815. The cost would be £3.

The application on Jack’s smartphone recommends that Jack go with option 4:  Tube and walking.

18:20  -  On Jack’s walk to the Tube, his smartphone alerts him of a security incident on the Bakerloo Tube line. If he were to continue with the planned route, he would arrive at the restaurant only at 1945. It advises him to change his route by walking to the nearest bus stop. The bus route would get him to the restaurant at 1910.

19:10 – Jack arrives at the restaurant slightly late but thankfully his guest has not yet arrived – the guest took a taxi and was caught in a traffic jam!

The successful outcome in the scenario above is dependent on open transportation information standards and Advanced Traveler Information Systems, including

  • An extensive sensor-based transportation system operating in the region where real-time information is collected on every type of transportation available to the traveler
  • An back office analytics-rich system capable of analyzing the millions of transactions coming into the system for each mode of transportation
  • Applications available on personal mobile handheld devices capable of interacting with the regional Advanced Traveler Information System.  The mobile application needs to be able to become an agent for the person, acting on stored personal preferences, the calendar for the day, and the real-time information available from the regional system.

A Primer on the Smart Grid and Intelligent Utility Network Trend

Smart Grid2 In a world where increased focus is on reducing CO2 emissions, governments and energy & utility companies are looking for ways to modernize and transform their utility infrastructure in order to improve energy efficiency and reliability. 

For developed economies, the traditional way power has been generated is based on a central generation model with one-way power and information flow from large, often distant generating stations, via transmission and distribution lines to end consumers.   Most of these generation systems contain an aging infrastructure with some equipment dating back 60 years.  This traditional infrastructure lacks sufficient technology and communications at the distribution and end-use level that would enable grid automation & monitoring capabilities.   The model has been a push model, meaning that there is little to no automated information coming back to the central sites from those that use the power.  So if the user suddenly has no power, the only way the utility company knows about it is if they get a call from the users.  Furthermore, the user has very little information available to help them understand how much power they are using, when they are using it, and what they are using it for.

The Smart Grid (also called Intelligent Utility Network) technology is an important emerging trend within the Energy and Utility Industry.  As consumers, we are increasingly aware that the way we consume and save energy can be improved.  Within the energy and utility industry, energy efficiency is also on the minds of the industry leaders.  And our governments are all interested in finding new sources of energy.   By embedding technology into the electrical distribution network, a Smart Grid can transform the way power is distributed and used.  Intelligence throughout the grid can dramatically reduce outages and faults, improve responsiveness, handle current and future demand, increase efficiency and manage costs.

The following video from IEEE will provide some additional introduction into the concept of the Smart Grid.

Produced by IEEE and ScienCentral, Inc.

A Smart Grid can present many opportunities for consumers, businesses, and utilities to benefit from the efficient distribution of energy and availability of intelligent equipment and devices.  For governments, it offers significant opportunities to wisely manage a country’s fuel resources by potentially reducing the need for additional generation sources, better integrating renewable energy sources into the grid’s operations, reducing outages and cascading problems, and enabling users of power to better manage their energy consumption.

The Smart Grid technology will enable energy customers to

  • manage electricity consumption to meet specific household/business goals such as cost, availability, and environmental impact
  • seek energy providers, information, and technologies that help them meet their goals
  • do business with utility companies who communicate a set of energy-related values consistent with their own
  • seek convenient and more personalized ways to interact with their utility to negotiate customized solutions to allow them to meet their needs
  • act on their own wants and needs where regulatory representation does not provide results satisfying these specific needs, primarily through execution of alternative solutions (e.g., self-generation)

So what exactly are the characteristics of a Smart Grid?  The US Department of Energy has characterized a smart grid as having the following attributes:

  • Self-healing from power disturbance events
  • Enabling active participation by consumers in demand response
  • Operating resiliently against physical and cyber attack
  • Providing power quality for 21st century needs
  • Accommodating all generation and storage options
  • Enabling new products, services, and markets
  • Optimizing assets and operating efficiently

The consumer of power from a future Smart Grid will see many differences as a result of adding intelligence into the network.   Some examples are:

  • Smart electricity meters, water meters, and gas meters that collect real-time data on utility usage.
  • Distributed generation, such as solar panels and other micro generation.  These new generators could be located at the home, in the neighborhood, or in the local community.
  • Dedicated energy display units and smart thermostats that provide the user with feedback on energy usage in real-time.
  • Smart appliances with connectivity to the intelligent utility network via the in home meters and display units.
  • Plug-in vehicles as a both source and consumer of energy.  The vehicles, when plugged in would provide information on energy usage.
  • Linked connection to the in-home network and home PCs for further analysis of all the information collected.

The Smart Grid transformation is much more than installation of new technology in a piece-part fashion.  The call for the transformation to a Smart Grid impacts every part of the utility infrastructure including generation, distribution, and usage.  It will be a disruptive change, but a change that will provide huge rewards for the future.  For the utility industry itself, changes needs to happen in four key areas:

  1. Strategy.  We need a  fundamental rethink of business strategy and industry business models across the board.
  2. Collaboration.  Utility providers will need to develop a much closer collaboration with customers, regulators, financers, researchers, technology and service vendors, and other stakeholders than ever before.
  3. People.  The change will be very disruptive to utility companies.  They will need a renewed focus on staff, their roles, competencies, compensation, performance and structure.
  4. Process.  Utility providers will need to re-architect business processes and applications.

There is much work to be done to transform old utility infrastructures to a Smart Grid system.  The transformation will not happen overnight, but could happen over a series of decades.  When complete, countries that transform their utilities infrastructure to an Intelligent Utility Network will have a modern network of sensor-based interactive technologies that will give utilities and consumers unprecedented control over managing energy use, improving energy grid operations, and significantly reducing energy costs. 

There is a ton of information available on Smart Grids.  Here are a few example resources for you to explore….

For other “Primers” here on HorizonWatching, check out http://horizonwatching.typepad.com/horizonwatching/primer/