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IBM: Using Strategy to Build a “Smarter Planet” Essay

1) Pick a company (or a brand, institute, city or government….) which can be a client of IBM and describe three (3) specific benefits the Smarter Planet initiative can provide to the organization. Wal-Mart;

(i) By managing and organizing Wal-Mart’s huge database through database management which will be help keep better track of inventory levels, merchandise assortment and product pricing. (ii) Help Wal-Mart better analyze buying behavior through implementation of smart systems. (iii) Increased efficiency and better customer service.

2) Conduct a SWOT analysis for IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. Strengths;
(i) An Internationally recognized company with a very good reputation. (ii) Known for its revolutionary and innovative inventions like the hard disk drive and the ATM. Weaknesses;
(i) Pressure to perform and deliver on what IBM has set out to accomplish through the smarter planet initiative. (ii) Because of IBM’s size and considering how long it’s been in business, the company will find it very challenging to make big changes such as a total change from their current commodity-based business to customizable businesses. Opportunities;

(i) Growth of markets in developed and third world countries. (ii) Business analytics and optimization.
(i) A strongly competitive industry with very well-known companies like HP and Dell who also cater to large organizations for almost similar purposes. (ii) Shifting from a commodity-based to customizable businesses will be very challenging.

3) What relevant trends to consider for the next three to five years? Customer Trends;
(i) The desire for customers to work more efficiently.
(ii) The desire for customers to stay updated and connected across technologies.

Environmental Trends;
(i) Fewer trade barriers.
(ii) Growth of developing countries.

4) (a) How can IBM communicate its strategy to companies, cities, and governments? List 3 ways (i) By making Information such as industry reports, statistics and videos available on their website that describes the strategy. (ii) Through a “Letter from the Chairman” by Sam Palmisano, which shows how the Smarter Planet initiative represented an infusion of intelligence into the way the world actually works. (iii) By using print and television advertising campaigns to communicate IBM’s ability to make the world “smarter.”

(b) How is Watson a part of the communication strategy?
Watson is a very strong communication tool. Its exposure on shows like Jeopardy! are a great way to deliver its message about their strategy.

5) What are the benefits of the Smarter Planet initiative to; (a) Society;
(i) Help cites, industries and organizations make smarter decisions, the result of which would help cut costs, reduce waste and increase productivity which would in turn making them more profitable and sustainable. (ii) IBM believes that through this initiative, any person or organization “can now become digitally aware, networked and intelligent.” (b) IBM;

(i) Close customer interactions which facilitate better relationships. (ii) Successful implementation of smart solutions will lead to brand loyalty and ultimately increased revenue.

(c) How should IBM measure the results of the Smarter Planet Strategy? IBM should measure the results based on how successful the Smarter Planet Strategy has been on an organization after its implementation. For example, by using IBM’s smart solutions to analyze its data, the Memphis Police Department reduced crime by 28 percent. Here we can clearly see that the strategy turned out to be very successful, hence, a great result for IBM.

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