IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center

Today we are reviewing IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) which is, according to IBM, specifically designed to create Smarter Cities.

With raising populations, ageing infrastructures and shrinking tax revenues today’s cities demand more than traditional solutions. In IBM’s words, “Innovation is at the heart of a smarter city which is what provided this Intelligent Operations Center.” The IOC is designed to provide cities with the ability to apply insight and global best practices from 2000 smart projects worldwide to meet unique challenges. The result is exceptional citizen services and an increase quality of life enabled by shared information across agencies/ departments anticipating problems to minimize disruptions, and coordinating resources allowing rapid response to unexpected circumstances.

The IOC helps cities of all sizes to better manage and monitor the following services:

  • Emergency response
  • Energy optimisation
  • Public safety
  • Transport
  • Water

To give an example of one of the services that the Intelligent Operations Center provides, we will consider the transport/ congestion feature of the system. The congestion feature aims to relieve disruptions in traffic and to predict traffic conditions based on real-time traffic conditions and predictive volume along the routes of a city.

  It will assist motorists on their travels with real-time traffic delay avoidance, a feature that maps the best route based on real-time traffic conditions. The system calculates ‘what-if’ scenarios to allow predictive analytics and smart decision making. To make the IOC work efficiently, a City Traffic Manager is to be appointed in each city to keep traffic running smoothly. As the image above shows, he or she is responsible to spot traffic disruptions and to initiate the smart calculations made by the IOC.

In case of an accident, the citizen will receive 3 alternative routes through his or her smartphone. At least one of the alternative routes includes public transport, guiding motorists to the nearest train/ subway station with available parking while showing fare and schedule information. Similar smart applications are provided for the other services that are listed above.

The Intelligent Operations System provides cities with an accessible tool to monitor and manage various services that contribute to making the city smarter and through that, more efficient.

According to us, systems like IBM’s IOS are vital to make a city function better.