Global IT giant IBM’s recent move to ‘geo-enable’ some of its core technology platforms signals a new era of geographic-based intelligence for Australian business, according to a leading technology expert.
Speaking today at the IBM Pulse conference in Sydney, Esri Australia Business Manager Francisco Urbina referred to comments by IBM Vice President Steve Mills this year that geospatial integration was a core part of the software giant’s future strategy.
“It’s incredibly significant that one of the world’s largest IT companies has thrown its weight behind the value of geography in business,” Mr Urbina said.
“IBM doesn’t follow international business trends, it drives them – and their position reflects a growing trend among the world’s biggest companies towards geo-enabling their business systems by integrating their asset management and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology platforms.
“Locally, we’re seeing organisations, such as Northern Territory Power and Water, embrace these integrated technologies to geo-enable their systems.”
Geo-enabling business systems involves using GIS technology to translate an organisation’s data into the visual format of a map.
Mr Urbina said geo-enabling business systems challenged enterprises to completely re-examine how they viewed their assets.
“GIS technology plots an organisation’s asset data on a map and enables managers to visualise relationships among assets and other mapped features, such as roads, buildings and pipelines,” Mr Urbina said.
“In the context of asset management, where 100 percent of data has a geographic component – the insight GIS technology delivers cannot be overstated.
“One client used our GIS technology to transform their IBM system into a powerful visualisation tool – which helped them reduce their labour costs by more than $1.8 million per year.
“I predict we will see more and more businesses move to geo-enable their systems in the coming 12 months – particularly now that IBM has released geo-enabled platforms that require no customisation.”
The IBM Pulse 2012 conference attracted more than 700 of the nation’s leading IT professionals and showcased best practice solutions in business infrastructure.