Bringing A Smarter Planet to Life

Wednesday 10th June 2009, 6:30 pm.

Speaker: Paul Fryer, Senior Project Manager, Marketing, IBM UK Ltd.

Venue: Room 4.31/33, University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB - map (click on Informatics Forum in the list of buildings).

This talk is free of charge. Refreshments available from 6:00 pm.


Building a smarter planet is IBM's point of view on how interconnected technologies are changing the way the world literally works. That is, the systems and processes that enable: physical goods to be developed, manufactured, bought and sold; services to be delivered; everything from people and money to oil, water and electrons to move; and billions of people to work, govern themselves and live.

The catalyst for this change: transformation of the world's infrastructure, which is becoming increasingly instrumented, interconnected and intelligent.

  • By 2010, there will be a billion transistors per human, each costing one ten-millionth of a cent. The technology is being embedded into billions of devices – cars, appliances, roadways, etc.
  • By 2011, an estimated 2 billion people will be on the Web – connected to devices in an unprecedented way.
  • Massively powerful computers and computing “clouds” can be affordably applied to processing, modelling, forecasting and analyzing the mountains of data all this will generate.

What this means: For the first time in history, almost anything can become digitally aware and interconnected.

The opportunity: Smart airports, smart banks, smart roadways, smart cities – with so much technology available at such a low cost, the list of possibilities is endless.

The world is at a critical inflection point. The meltdown of our financial markets has jolted us awake to the realities and dangers of highly complex global systems – but it was just the latest of several such jolts: on global climate change, on the environmental and geopolitical issues surrounding energy, on global supply chains for food and medicine, and on security following 9/11. Each of these was a collective realization of the reality of global integration.

We know we are all now connected – economically, technically and socially. But being connected is not sufficient. We also have to infuse intelligence into our systems and ways of working. The world has become flatter and smaller. Now it must become smarter.

Paul will introduce the concept of building a smarter planet and explore what this really means through the use of a simple example. He will discuss the impact that it is already having and what some of the implications are for the future

About the speaker


Paul started his commercial career in the automotive industry, but was rapidly drawn to the increasingly exciting world of Information Technology and joined IBM 25 years ago. He started in Procurement and has since then spent the majority of his time in Sales and then in Marketing. He has recently just finished an assignment in Europe managing IBM's major sales events and is now leading the discussion internally about building a smarter planet.

Paul lives in the south of England with his wife and 2 children and can be often found on the golf course.