Software // Information Management
Commentary
8/11/2009
06:53 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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IBM Launches Business Analytics For Public Sector

Moving rapidly to position itself as a global leader in the white-hot market for business analytics and optimization, IBM's new public-sector practice will pursue projects in electronic medical records, intelligent utility grids, transportation systems, public safety, regulatory systems, customs and border management, cybersecurity, education, and other fields.

Moving rapidly to position itself as a global leader in the white-hot market for business analytics and optimization, IBM's new public-sector practice will pursue projects in electronic medical records, intelligent utility grids, transportation systems, public safety, regulatory systems, customs and border management, cybersecurity, education, and other fields.The desired outcome is for government officials at federal, state, and local levels to be able to make faster and more-effective decisions driven by new and better insights into what is going and and what is likely to happen in the future. In a statement announcing the new unit, IBM said the following:

"The ability to use more sophisticated approaches in analyzing information, extracting insights, and optimizing that information, can help public sector organizations make more informed decisions, better manage their resources, and achieve greater accountability," said Charles Prow, Managing Partner of Global Business Services for IBM Public Sector. "IBM sees an enormous opportunity to help our clients improve program delivery by gaining access to real-time information that will aid decision making and ultimately improve their efforts to serve citizens."

And in these times of rapidly escalating deficits climbing into many trillions of dollars, it's good to hear that IBM expects some of its new analytics and optimization work with the Social Security Administration to actually save some money:

In addition, IBM worked with SSA to build a predictive model using text analytics to reduce the total time needed to review applications for disability from months to weeks. IBM also developed another set of predictive models to save the SSA approximately $200 million annually over the last 10 years in reduced doctor review costs for disability benefit renewals, IBM said.

In a presentation to analysts a couple of months ago, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano extolled IBM's timing and strategic readiness for the massive infusion of government funding for a near-endless range of projects. Below is a terrific quote on that subject from Palmisano, and for those who'd like more insights into his strategic thinking, we've offer analysis along with extensive transcriptions of Palmisano's comments about public-sector projects and financing here, and about the company's transformation and unique status among IT players here. Here's the great Palmisano quote about IBM and so-called stimulus money from this Global CIO column:

Speaking of some of the initiatives IBM is offering under its Smarter Planet theme, Palmisano told the analysts, "It's nice that the stars line up -- that the things we do in Smarter Planet tend to tie out with the stimulus packages of the world, especially in China and the U.S., that have the biggest stimulus packages. ... Y'know, some people commented to me as I was walking in, 'Well, since you personally worked on the stimulus packages, it shouldn't be a surprise that China and the U.S. line up with Smarter Planet.'

"But hey, it is what it is. We can do intelligent grids, we can do smart health care IT, we can do road systems and traffic-congestion charting, we can do we can do we can do. We can do the Smart Shanghai for the Shanghai Expo in 2010 -- we can do we can do we can do -- right? -- and that's where a lot of the stimulus is geared, not just on creating jobs to fill potholes and fix bridges. So we've been able to align in that regard and we continue to invest in a lot of those areas to capture those opportunities."

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