Weather predictions, APIs, IoT, and a powerful digital platform for your uninterrupted Business

This article was originally published on IBM Big Data Hub.

Many of us seem to watch weather forecasts to figure out what to wear the next day but forget about it right after that, unless of course there is snow in the forecast. Especially here in the northeast; we dread watching the weather report for about six months of the year.

For this reason, IBM’s acquisition of The Weather Company was a head-scratching moment for many because we are used to only the consumer aspect of weather, not the business side—especially given the high speculation by The Wall Street Journal.

Why did IBM, an IT software company, go after The Weather Company then? IBM started this fundamental shift a few years ago, transforming itself from a big IT and mainframe provider to a digital, data and insight company. Recent speeches by the CEO of IBM clearly articulate its main focus has shifted toward cognitive computing, analytics, IoT, APIs, hybrid cloud and digital platforms that support big corporations to reinvent themselves and engage in the digital economy.

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Digitizing Healthcare, Because Our Lives Matter

This article originally appeared on IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub.

The United States spends around 17-18% of its GDP on healthcare every year. When you put this into dollar numbers, it is a mind-boggling $2.9 trillion.

Unfortunately, that spending will grow at a faster rate now due to baby boomers becoming an aging population, and they are the largest demographic in the U.S. (Baby boomers are about 76 million, which accounts for 25% of the population of the U.S.). The healthcare related spending is expected to grow at a faster pace than the under 5% annual rate it grew over the last decade.

Unless the U.S. gets this spiraling healthcare spending under control, in a few short years we will be spending almost 25% of our entire GDP in healthcare trying to fix people’s failing health, instead of spending it somewhere else where it is desperately needed. Obviously, we can’t stop the aging population, but we can make the healthcare system more efficient. Overall, chronic diseases account for about 86% of the health care spending in USA. Severe chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, asthma and diabetes alone cost 33% of the total spending.

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The “Ugly Duckling” API syndrome

Ugly Duckling lookingAs an advisor and a digital strategist, part of my role is to talk to customers about their APIs, IoTs, and their overall digital strategy. After conversations with a lot of them, one thing stands out: Almost everyone thinks their API is awesome. While a good portion of them are very impressive, and some are moderate to good, I do see a bunch of ugly ones too. However, if you are a producer — whether it is a movie, a baby, or an API – it will be hard for you to realize, admit, and come to terms with your “Ugly Ducklings.” Obviously, the amount of sweat and tears that went into your initiative causes you to look at your APIs through beer goggles, which makes them look good in your eyes, even if the APIs are mediocre.

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