Instrumented, Interconnected and Intelligent — IBM Canada's Perspective on a Digital Economy Strategy

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Submitted by IBM Canada Ltd 2010–07–12 14:00:42 EDT
Theme(s): Building Digital Skills, Canada's Digital Content, Digital Infrastructure, Growing the ICT Industry, Innovation Using Digital Technologies

Summary

IBM Canada's vision for a Digital Economy Strategy is consistent with our Company's call for a new global leadership agenda. This agenda aims to transform the institutions, industries and infrastructure that will improve our quality of life and support our economy's capacity for innovation, productivity and skilled jobs. It is premised on the opportunity to leverage instrumented, interconnected and intelligent technologies to make the world around us smarter and more sustainable. It is a response to an ever changing global economy characterized by disruption, intense competition and rapid innovation.

A Digital Economy Strategy can make Canada smarter, more productive and competitive. Our digital infrastructure needs to be intelligent by leveraging the breadth of our information and communications technologies (ICT) industry's capabilities. Governments and businesses need to be encouraged to adopt emerging services oriented ICT models and solutions. Finally, collaboration is required to renew the Canadian ICT industry's comparative advantage in competitive globally integrated supply chains.

We believe that there are five key priorities for the Strategy:

  1. Position Canada as a leader in the development, use and export of intelligent infrastructure through an inclusive and collaborative Canadian Digital Infrastructure Roadmap.
  2. Encourage businesses to make maximum use of emerging, services oriented ICT models through flexible incentives and strategic government leadership.
  3. Strengthen the capacity of Canada's ICT industry to compete in globally integrated supply chains through strategic incentives and collaborative investment partnerships.
  4. Establish Canada's digital content advantage in the form of a Global Centre of Excellence in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.
  5. Drive a skills agenda that makes a difference today and provides a basis for innovation and competitiveness tomorrow. This includes multidisciplinary research and education for a global, service driven digital economy.

Canada is emerging strongly from a significant period of economic disruption. The ability to sustain this progress is contingent upon making choices that will enable Canada's businesses, industries, institutions and infrastructure to not just be stronger, but smarter. We believe that this is how a Digital Economy Strategy will drive innovation, productivity and competitiveness and make a difference to Canadians.


Submission

"Just over a year ago I was at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. I was there to share what we at IBM had come to believe was a seminal change in the way the world literally works. On that day we began a global conversation about how the planet is becoming smarter."

"By a smarter planet, we mean that intelligence is being infused into the systems and processes that enable services to be delivered; physical goods to be developed, manufactured, bought and sold; everything from people and money to oil, water and electrons to move; and billions of people to work and live."


(Instrumented) Enormous computational power can now be delivered in forms so small, abundant and inexpensive that it is being put into things no one would recognize as computers: cars, appliances, roadways and rail lines, power grids, clothes; across processes and global supply chains; and even in natural systems, such as agriculture and waterways."

"(Interconnected) All of these digital devices–soon to number in the trillions — are being connected through the Internet. Some call this the "Internet of Things."

"(Intelligent) Lastly, all of that data — the knowledge of the world, the flow of markets, the pulse of societies — can be turned into intelligence, because we now have the processing power and advanced analytics to make sense of it all. With this knowledge we can reduce cost and waste, improve efficiency and productivity, and raise the quality of everything from our products, to our companies, to our cities."

Samuel J. Palmisano,
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,
IBM Corporation
"Welcome to the Decade of Smart"
London, January 2010

Common Cause for a Canadian Digital Economy Strategy

Established in Canada in 1917, IBM's investment footprint today spans the country from the Maritimes to Vancouver Island. Over the last decade, IBM has invested more than $3 billion in R&D in Canada. Our Company's jobs and investment in Canada are squarely focused on innovation — both as one of Canada's largest ICT producers and as an enabler of the same across Canada's economy. It is in the spirit of common cause that we are pleased to offer comments and input to the public consultation on Canada's Digital Economy Strategy.

This paper will provide our Company's perspective on three critical drivers shaping the policy environment for a Strategy. It will conclude with our thoughts on strategic considerations on each of the five subjects defined in the consultation paper.

The Digital Economy is Instrumented, Interconnected & Intelligent

From IBM's perspective, the digital economy is composed of an interdependent system of systems that is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. These "three I's" are the building blocks for translating increasingly vast amounts of data into value and making our systems, processes and infrastructures more efficient and more productive and responsive — in a word, smarter. This is not intended to be a futuristic discussion about what could be. The need for leadership, transformation and modernization is present and pressing. Consider these examples:

Transforming the Energy System:
  • Today's energy system is an unresponsive and increasingly inefficient analogue system. It is estimated that up to 40–70% of the energy generated for distribution never arrives at its intended destination. Conversely, Smart meter systems can save consumers 10% on their power bills and reduce power use by 15% during peak hours. It is estimated that a modest 5% drop in peak demand in the U.S. would be equivalent to eliminating 625 power plants.1
Intelligent Transportation:
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently concluded that congestion from traffic in Toronto is the second largest in the world, with annual costs for commuters in 2006 estimated at around CAD $3.3 billion per year and the annual economic costs at $2.7 billion for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.2 In four cities where IBM has helped deploy congestion management solutions, traffic volume during peak periods has been reduced by up to 18%, CO2 emissions from motor vehicles were reduced by up to 14%, and public transit use increased by up to 7%.3
Smarter Health Care:
  • IBM and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology are creating an advanced system that will be capable of processing more data then previously imagined for premature infants in care at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children (HSC). Consider that physicians at the Toronto HSC currently use a range of paper–based data. This initiative will help doctors detect subtle changes in biomedical readings, such as heart rate. It will provide advance warning of a potential change in the condition of critically–ill premature babies up to 24 hours earlier than possible today, dramatically improving the quality of patient care and reducing the need for costlier and riskier medical intervention.4
Digital Platforms for Jobs & Innovation
  • Prior to the implementation of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation published an analysis of the impact of public investment in smarter energy, intelligent health care systems and broadband expansion. The Institute concluded that the network multiplier effects of investments in digital infrastructures are as or more significant than investments in traditional physical infrastructure. The study concludes that the direct and indirect benefits of investment in these platforms will have a significantly positive forward looking effect on jobs and innovation.5

The critical factors in this discussion are the following. The capacity exists to change the infrastructure on which we rely daily to reduce our carbon footprint, improve our health, and improve public sector productivity and to create new opportunities for jobs and innovation.6 The second factor is the technologies and processes to accomplish this transformation are interdependent and inclusive of the information and communications technologies industry's capabilities.

The Digital Economy — Services Oriented ICT Models for Business Adoption

The process of building a digital economy that is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent is services intensive and requires a services innovation agenda. Approximately 80% of the Canadian ICT sector's output is driven by the services producing industry segments,7 compared to 72% of the economy's overall output (both 2008 figures).8 IBM is of the opinion that a services innovation agenda requires consideration across several areas of policy, including research and innovation, skills and education and trade, among other areas. A services innovation agenda is directly relevant to policy aimed at closing Canada's ICT investment gap.

The private sector is leading the transformation of the ICT business model away from components and towards services. Most prominent among these emerging models is cloud computing.9 In very simple terms, cloud computing is a new consumption and delivery model for information technology (IT) and business services. It is characterized by: on–demand self service; ubiquitous network access; location independent resource pooling; rapid elasticity and provisioning; and pay–per–use.10

The relevance of the discussion about cloud computing to Canada's Digital Economy Strategy is its capacity to address the conventionally understood barriers to ICT adoption, particularly among small and medium sized enterprises (SME's). Effectively, the cloud reduces the complexity of ICT adoption through the possibility of remote, third party development and delivery. Cloud computing reduces the opportunity costs of scarce enterprise resource allocation and significantly reduces the costs of technology acquisition, management and support.11 Policy needs to consider the role that cloud and other ICT services models play in enabling enterprises to transform business processes for improved productivity.

The Digital Economy Requires Collaborative Investment
Partnerships for Comparative Advantage

The transformation to a services economy is in turn shaping the environment in which Canada's ICT companies compete. Competition is increasingly characterized by the evolution and intensification of global supply chains for the production, distribution and application of information and communications technologies. In 2006, the IBM Company introduced the concept of the globally integrated enterprise and its emergence as an organizational structure for the management of global supply chains.

"Together, new perceptions of the permissible and the possible have deepened the process of corporate globalization by shifting its focus from products to production — from what things companies choose to make to how they choose to make them, from what services they offer to how they choose to deliver them. Simply put, the emerging globally integrated enterprise is a company that fashions its strategy, its management, and its operations in pursuit of a new goal: the integration of production and value delivery worldwide. State borders define less and less the boundaries of corporate thinking or practice."12

Value is the basis for decisions about jobs and investment in globally integrated supply chains. It is determined by three primary factors — skills and expertise; economics; and the openness of the business environment to trade, people, ideas and creativity.

The federal government is taking significant steps to make Canada's business environment as competitive as possible. The challenge for large global companies in Canada is that investment in R&D, innovation and global export mandates is a corporate decision based on the relative affordability and quality of skills, expertise and other key inputs to the production process. The decision to locate or expand global investment in Canada — or elsewhere — is directly linked to the "above the line" costs and quality of inputs.

The Canadian industry's comparative advantage of relatively affordable access to highly advanced skills and expertise is strong, but under pressure. Governments elsewhere in the world are aggressively supporting industry–driven R&D that will build the knowledge, skills and capacity for strategic, global mandates. Collaborative partnerships are required to stimulate global investment in the skills and capabilities that will strengthen the ICT industry's comparative advantage in globally integrated supply chains.

Strategic Considerations

1) Building a World Class Digital Infrastructure

Canadian Digital Infrastructure Roadmap

IBM proposes that the Digital Economy Strategy should aim to make Canada a global leader in the development, deployment and export of intelligent systems. These include but are not limited to smarter energy grids, intelligent health care and intelligent transportation systems — the systems that make our communities better places to live and create new platforms for innovation, business development and good paying jobs. As none of these systems are controlled by any one organization, structured collaboration is critical across governments, the broader public sector, industry, academia, and communities. Canada will need an aggressive strategy to drive investment, collaboration and achieve leadership. This includes expanding access to broadband and high speed communications networks. However, building Canada's digital infrastructure needs to go further.

The primary opportunity and challenge for digital infrastructure is to make sense of an ever expanding capacity for data generation and accumulation. From our perspective, the Internet is evolving towards an "Internet of Things" composed of a trillion connected objects — appliances, cars, roadways, pipelines, medical devices, etc. As a result, the volume of Internet traffic is doubling every year — a 1,000 fold increase in the next ten years.

Winners in the digital economy will be those who can extract value from the vast amounts of data being generated. We believe that a successful digital infrastructure strategy must be focused on developing Canada's leadership in the intelligent systems, applications and services that will bring value to citizens, regions and communities in the near term, and be a catalyst for future innovation and investment.13

We recommend the development of a comprehensive Canadian Digital Infrastructure Roadmap. The skills and capabilities required to build Canada's instrumented, interconnected and intelligent infrastructure will call upon the inclusive strengths of Canada's ICT industry — technology, communications, software and services; small, medium and large companies. The Roadmap will define Canada's digital infrastructure priorities and will be a tool for fostering the required collaboration within and among governments in Canada, industry, regional clusters and research partners.

2) Capacity to innovate Using Digital Technologies

Canadian ICT Adoption Initiative

An aggressive Canadian ICT Adoption Initiative is required to close the well documented ICT investment gap and stimulate ICT enabled innovation. The initiative will include incentives that will reduce the risk and uncertainty of business investment in the right mix of knowledge, skills and technologies to make a meaningful difference to enterprise innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

The Report of the Council of Canadian Academies on Innovation and Business Strategy speaks to a role for incentives in stimulating adoption under the right circumstances.14 The recent review of ICT adoption programs in other jurisdictions by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) provides a reasonable framework for structuring incentives. The ITAC review concludes that initiatives and incentives need to be flexible and recognize at once the varied needs of businesses in adopting ICT enabled innovation and the role of ICT services in driving meeting those needs.15 IBM's experience is that business transformation is a knowledge and services intensive process and we concur with the ITAC conclusions.

Federal Technology Leadership Initiative

Government policy and market leadership can have a positive effect on the generation of innovative, competitive services for private sector consumption and adoption.16 A Federal Technology Leadership Initiative would result in a strategic framework for the adoption of cloud and other emerging technologies within the federal government.

With regard to the question of how the federal government can use its policy infrastructure to provide as conducive an environment as possible for increasing ICT adoption, we highlight two specific areas for action and leadership:

  • Cross–Border Data Flows: The elimination of all barriers to cross border data flows, within Canada and at an international level, within a framework of organizational accountability for personal information protection and enforcement cooperation, is necessary. This includes engaging with other countries to resolve issues related to government and law enforcement access to personal information held by private sector organizations.
  • Interoperability & Open Standards: Technology policy in a digital economy should be based on interoperability and pragmatic support for open standards. Open standards facilitate interoperability within and across government systems. They facilitate institutional collaboration and increase technology options for citizens, businesses and users of government information and systems. They can help governments avoid the consequences of vendor lock–in and reduce costs. Open standards are governed by open communities, lessening the risk of technology control and leveling the playing field for participation and competition. With regard to the cloud and other emerging ICT delivery models, open and interoperable standards enable data portability and greater assurances over privacy and data security.17

    IBM recognizes that there is a balance between technologies that can operate effectively and successfully in a proprietary environment and technologies which require openness to thrive. Canada's instrumented, interconnected and intelligent digital infrastructure requires a standards–based approach to interoperability. We believe that technology policy should support the pragmatic use of open standards.

3) Growing the Information and Communications Technology Industry

Collaborative ICT Industry Investment Incentive

Despite its significant investment in research and development, the federal government has very limited tools to improve the business case for global investment in strategic world product mandates. We recommend that the federal government establish a Collaborative ICT Industry Investment Incentive to address the direct costs of investment in the innovation process — skills, training, technology development, new engineering processes and other critical inputs. The incentive will be a catalyst for investment in strategic capabilities and global mandates that will make a significant difference to Canada's comparative advantage. We make this recommendation cognizant of the federal government's fiscal environment and that any new incentive initiative would need to be designed and developed within this context.

The Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit Program

IBM Canada is of the opinion that the federal SR&ED program can have a greater effect on encouraging incremental investment in R&D by large, globally integrated companies. We recommend that the federal government undertake a collaborative and meaningful review of the SR&ED program to confirm the issues faced by large globally integrated companies and to determine options for design and delivery. We are of the opinion that this discussion should be a priority for the federal government's R&D policy and programming review.

Support Industry–led Collaborative Research

We believe that the federal government should support research excellence where it can make the greatest difference to innovation, new skills and commercialization. In this regard, we are of the opinion that federal investment should provide funding support to industry–led collaborative R&D initiatives in addition to initiatives led by universities and other public research institutes. IBM and a number of other ICT companies in Canada lead a diverse range of research networks and collaborations. These collaborations make as significant a contribution to the public innovation system as research led by publicly funded institutes. Industry–led collaborative research can leverage the global reach of Canada's largest investors in innovation to drive the commercialization of publicly funded research.

Reducing Digital Economy Trade Barriers

IBM shares the industry point of view that Canada's export control procedures and regulations concerning cryptography products and technology need to be amended so that Canadian ICT industry developers and exporters are not at a competitive disadvantage. This includes ensuring that interpretations under the regulations are no more stringent than those in other Wassenaar member states. It also involves ensuring that Canada's permitting practices and processes are streamlined to the greatest extent possible, so that requirements in Canada are no more onerous and processing times no longer than elsewhere.18

4) Canada's Digital Content Advantage

Global Centre of Excellence in Business Intelligence & Data Analytics

We believe that Canada's digital advantage includes the ability to transform content into the services that make a difference to Canadians. Increasingly instrumented and interconnected devices are capturing data about the world around us — temperature, soil condition, water flow, vibration and location and so much more. Billions of individuals are generating torrents of information through social media tools and portals. Despite this, IBM estimates that 30% of the world's data now consists of highly complex medical images. This data is far more real–time than ever before.

The challenge is to make sense of data at rates of volume, velocity and critical significance not previously imagined. Our digital advantage is contingent upon being able to act on this data in an intelligent fashion. Increasingly, the capability exists through advanced software analytic tools, to extract value from data — to see patterns, correlations and outliers. Sophisticated mathematical models are helping businesses and public authorities anticipate, forecast, estimate risk and predict changes in critical systems. Canada's digital advantage includes the capacity to leverage analytics and other critical tools to transform oceans of data into value and to make our systems, institutions and infrastructures intelligent.

The opportunity and challenge going forward is to ensure that Canada's governments, industries and public authorities have the skills and capabilities to apply, leverage and transform through analytics. Canada's ICT industry should strive to be a global leader in the development and export of software analytics and other technologies that will help make the world's most critical systems intelligent. IBM is contributing to these goals through our global development mandates and research collaborations, particularly in the Ottawa region.19 We recommend the establishment of a Global Centre of Excellence in Business Intelligence & Data Analytics. The Centre would be dedicated to collaboration, capacity building and global industrial leadership in analytics and other technologies and processes aimed at establishing Canada's intelligent digital advantage.

5) Building the Skills for a Digital Economy

Production in Canada's digital economy is knowledge intensive. The critical factor of production is human capital in the form of highly skilled people. The consultation paper references Statistics Canada figures which confirm that between 2001 and 2007, information technology undergraduate enrolment in Canadian universities dropped by 45%, resulting in a 35% decline in graduates by 2007. This is a worrisome trend that needs to be reversed.

At the same time, the skills required to build instrumented, interconnected and intelligent systems are multidisciplinary. Skilled graduates for a services oriented digital economy are those that will posses both a depth of expertise in technology and engineering and a breadth of knowledge across a range of disciplines. On the one hand, these requirements are challenged by the declining supply of new graduates in the information and computer sciences. On the other hand, a more rigorous approach is required to equip new graduates with the multidisciplinary skills required to drive innovation across complex systems.

Canada's Digital Economy Strategy requires a strategic agenda that will address today's challenge of a declining supply of new IT graduates and invest in the skills that will drive innovation and competitiveness tomorrow. We are of the opinion that government can make an immediate difference in three key areas through coordination, policy and strategic investments.

Making a Difference Today

Professional "Apprenticeships" — Government and industry need to consider new approaches for equipping graduates and existing employees from various disciplines and backgrounds with necessary technology skills. One option is the creation of "apprenticeships" to encourage investment in the technology skills and disciplines required in today's marketplace. The policy intent is to encourage investment in post–curricular education, training and up–skilling.

Providing the Basis for Innovation & Competitiveness Tomorrow

Service Science Research & Education Initiative — The global digital economy is a services driven economy. Canada requires a services innovation research and education agenda. This agenda would establish a national research network in the emerging discipline of Service Science Management and Engineering20 and contribute to the development of a service science education agenda for Canada's post secondary institutions.21

Youth Science and Technology Outreach — Coordination of the numerous programs and initiatives offered by Canada's ICT companies, not–for–profit organizations, provincial governments, etc. would help create a critical mass of efforts to stimulate greater interest in science and technology among Canada's youth.

An inclusive and collaborative Canadian Digital Infrastructure Roadmap to position Canada as a leader in intelligent infrastructure.

A Canadian ICT Adoption Initiative to encourage maximum business adoption of emerging, services oriented technology models and solutions.

Collaborative investment partnerships between the ICT industry, government and research to strengthen comparative advantage.

A Global Centre of Excellence in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics to drive Canada's digital advantage.

A strategic skills agenda for today and a basis for innovation and competitiveness tomorrow.

Conclusion

Technology in a global digital economy is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. Leveraging these technologies presents opportunities to drive meaningful change and address the priorities of Canadians — a better quality of life and greater opportunity for economic prosperity.

Canada is emerging strongly from a significant period of economic disruption. Our ability to sustain this progress is contingent upon making choices that will enable our businesses, industries, institutions and infrastructure to not just be stronger, but smarter. Canada's digital advantage will increasingly be determined by our capacity for intelligence. Productivity in Canada will improve through the aggressive adoption of emerging ICT services models. The strength of our ICT industry and regional clusters will be contingent upon collaborative partnerships around investment and new digital platforms for innovation.

We conclude our input by reemphasizing our recommended priorities for a Digital Economy Strategy and our vision for a new competitive advantage:

IBM Canada Ltd.
Markham, Ontario, Canada
July 9, 2010

ENDNOTES

1 Remarks as prepared, Samuel J. Palmisano, Welcome to the Decade of Smart, Address to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, January 12, 2010.

2 OECD, OECD Territorial Reviews: Toronto, January 2010.

3 Palmisano, Welcome to the Decade of Smart, op cit.

4 See First–of–a–Kind Technology to Help Doctors Care for Premature Babies.

5 Robert D. Atkinson, Daniel Castro and Stephen J. Ezell, The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity and Revitalize America, Washington: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, January 2009.

6 See Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Mapping the Future of the Digital Economy: Key to Canada's Economic Success, 2009. In an earlier brief on a Digital Economy Strategy, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce noted the potential of smarter energy grids to conserve energy. It further noted the Obama Administration's commitment to dedicate $4.5 billion to the development of smart grids and conversely the lack of dedicated investments in digital infrastructure in Canada's 2009 stimulus strategy:

"… smart grid infrastructure represents the catalyst for the creation of a host of new, innovative industries and jobs. The smart grid will facilitate… the industries and jobs of tomorrow's economy. Again, most of this employment would be created across industries outside the ICT sector."

7 Industry Canada, ICT Sector Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 2008 (in 2002 constant dollars).

8 Statistics Canada, Summary Tables, Gross domestic product at basic prices, by industry, 2009.

9 The US National Institute of Standards and Technology defines the Cloud as follows: "Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on–demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction." See, Peter Mell and Tim Grannce, Draft NIST Working Definition of Cloud Computing, NIST: August 19, 2009 (online: NIST's Definition of Cloud Computing)

10 IBM Global Business Services, Capturing the Potential of the Cloud, IBM Corporation, 2009.

11 IBM Research has studied the cost–savings of range of test clouds across a range of scenarios. This research indicates that Cloud presents: hardware savings of 65% through reduced infrastructure and improved hardware utilization; software savings of 27% from lower license costs from improved utilization; system administration savings of 45% from reduced system administration and operation costs; provisioning savings of 76% from labor savings in service request management. See, Ibid.

12 Samuel J. Palmisano, The Globally Integrated Enterprise, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2006.

13 IBM Corporation Submission to the Federal Communications Commission (internal copy).

14 Council of Canadian Academies, Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short (Report in Focus), Council of Canadian Academies, April 2009, 26.

15 Jacek Warda, Leveraging ICT Adoption: What can Work for Business, ITAC, January 2010.

16 In its report on Innovation & Business Strategy, the Council of Academies writes "Since innovation is closely linked to demand from users, government as a large–scale purchaser can promote innovation by being a demanding buyer. More work is needed to better understand the linkages and policy responses to support innovation through procurement." See Council of Canadian Academies, op cit., 20.

17 IBM is one of the more than 300 members of the Open Cloud Manifesto which advocates for interoperability and open standards as the core principles for the development of this emerging model. The benefits of an "open cloud" are the same as those referenced elsewhere — avoidance of vendor lock–in and the resulting benefits of choice, information sovereignty, flexibility, adaptability and greater access to skills. Spring 2009 (online: Open Cloud Manifesto).

18 ITAC, The Wassenaar Cryptography Note and Canada's Export Controls on Cryptography Products and technology, ITAC, May 2010.

19 On April 15, 2010, IBM and the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa announced the formation of an international centre of excellence for business analytics at the University's Telfer school dedicated to education in analytics and performance management (online: University of Ottawa and IBM Create New Analytics Research Center).

20 Succeeding through Service Innovation: A Service Perspective for Education, Research, Business and Government, University of Cambridge, April 2008. Innovation in services is one of the IBM Company's core global research priorities. Together with academic partners, we are driving the development of an emerging research and education agenda in Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME). The following offers a reasonable definition of SSME:

Many individual strands of knowledge and expertise relating to service systems already exist, but they often lie in unconnected silos. This no longer reflects the reality of interconnected economic activities… In response, Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME), or in short Service Science, is emerging as a distinct field. Its vision is to discover the underlying logic of complex service systems and to establish a common language and shared frameworks for service innovation.

21 House of Commons Industry Committee, The Goods on Service:, Report of the House of Commons Industry Committee, House of Commons, Parliament of Canada, 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, June 2008. The Committee recommended that the federal government "develop a comprehensive services innovation strategy."

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