IBM and The Weather Company through WSI, its global B2B division, today announced a groundbreaking global strategic alliance to integrate real-time weather insights into business to improve operational performance and decision-making. As part of the alliance, The Weather Company, including WSI will shift its massive weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud and integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services.
Weather is perhaps the single largest external swing factor in business performance – responsible for an annual economic impact of nearly half a trillion dollars in the U.S. alone1. While weather prediction is increasingly precise and granular, business systems generally assume every day is the same. As a result, knowledge of impending extreme weather disruptions – or even routine disruptions that drive well understood behaviors and systemic reactions – don’t always trigger operational responses. Combining weather data with traditional business data and rich data from an unprecedented number of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled systems and devices will fundamentally transform enterprise decision-making.
The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles. WSI’s forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days.
By migrating its weather data platform to IBM Cloud, WSI will be able to accelerate the growth of one of the largest cloud-based applications in the world. Partnering with IBM also will enable enterprise clients and industry ecosystems to more easily integrate WSI weather data – including rapidly updated forecasts – into their operations and decision-making. Once integrated with enterprise processes, weather data can be combined with data from supply chains, customer buying patterns and other sources to create more valuable insights.
The partnership builds upon IBM’s investment of $3 billion over the next four years in an Internet of Things (IoT) unit to develop a portfolio of cloud services, software and related intellectual property.
“There’s an opportunity to inform all business operations and decision-making with real-time actionable insight delivered securely via the cloud and extracted from all this data collected from sensors all over the planet,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. “The Weather Company and IBM partnership can be a catalyst to making critical business systems even smarter.”