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Creating positive social impacts through ICT innovations

Adrian M. Reodique | May 20, 2016
How can businesses make a profit through ICT innovations while creating a positive social impact?

3.       Government and Regulatory Framework

As is common with many jurisdictions in developing economies, the boundaries for businesses may not yet be clearly defined. For example, there is confusion today over what data can reside in the public cloud. This has an impact on how businesses innovate.

As IT becomes more complex, companies are finding that data centre operations no longer fall under their core area of expertise. Businesses today can choose from an entire portfolio of cloud based IT services and, ironically, higher levels of data security. However, to benefit from cloud computing and the connected economy in general, companies must have clarity on the laws regarding data in the country they operate.

In September 2015, the world leaders adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is making inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. How do you think businesses can contribute to this while leveraging technologies?

We have many examples of how technology has helped make cities safer, more resilient and thus bring improvements to people's lives. Connecting the world through information is driving new channels of communications and new ways to optimise how the world runs.

The Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) for instance, has partnered with SAP to enhance response time and protect people and property in Australia's most populous state. By improving procedures and service delivery, and consolidating the key data used to protect the public, FRNSW has improved inter-agency collaboration and effectiveness when responding to emergencies. FRNSW and the other agencies are continually finding new ways to use data-driven insights to enhance their services. For instance, many firefighters have acquired specific skills over time. Records of up to 30 years of their training and experience are now available in real time via SAP HANA. That means agencies can send the right people and the right equipment to emergencies using real-time knowledge. Because response time can often keep an emergency from turning into a tragedy, every added dimension that can contribute to situational awareness and response is vital.

Another area where technology is making cities safer is through flood monitoring and forecasting - especially important during monsoon season in many states in Asia. In India for example, floods have caused devastating losses to the country, affecting lives and entire villages. Arteria Flood Real-time Monitoring (FoRM) uses sensor data from various sites such as reservoirs, dams, canals and consolidates it using the SAP HANA platform for monitoring in real time via a central dashboard using maps. Currently, sensor data from four major river basins across roughly 1000 sensor points is collected into SCADA servers and pulled into HANA platform every 5 minutes. Automatic alert notifications are calculated in case of a threshold breach and predictive algorithms are used to forecast a flood situation based parameters such as rainfall, water level and discharge levels. The system alerts concerned teams where there are discrepancies in data capture, allowing the administration to take actions to minimise the impact of any potential calamities.


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