Let's put the competition aside for a minute and focus on the bigger picture : IBM's vision for a smarter world. IBM's "Smarter Planet" initiative is their commitment to changing the world's paradigm from "react" to "anticipate." They foresee, as do we, a world in which the business leaders aren't ignoring the wealth of data and possibility around them. Yes, the most successful CMOs in the best companies have incredible instincts and a wealth of experience, but in 2013, executives cannot let their gut be the first and final word on a decision. It's time we anticipated problems and outcomes instead of simply reacting to billions lost on a failed marketing campaign.
But it's not just about business. This philosophy (that will soon be simple reality), applies to other parts of life. For example, law enforcement is working on preventing crimes before they happen, as opposed to simply dealing with them after they occur. City leaders are now judged by how they anticipate a crisis instead of how they react to one. For the first time, the world is BEHIND the technology available. The tools to make this smarter world happen are in reach. We have the ability to take the monolithic amount of data in the world and use it. We have the ability to analyze the data and find patterns. We have the ability to use these patterns to predict the future. And with some conviction, imagination, and insight, the new world's leaders can use these predictions to make informed decisions that will make the world a better, and smarter place. It just requires an open mind and a strong will.