IBM findings tell Katowice how to be smarter

IBM and the City Hall of Katowice finished today a first stage of the IBM Executive Service Corps initiative. Within the framework of the programme the team of five IBM managers from the United States and Brazil were analyzing and preparing main assumptions of the “Smarter City” model.

During the last three weeks the managers met more than 200 representatives of local government, business, academics and organizations to understand and define crucial challenges of Katowice and the Silesian Metropolis. In a final result of the first stage, following recommendations were defined:

  • – marketing methods do not fully reflect values of Katowice and the “Silesia” Metropolis,
    – living standards’ improvement: development of a cultural and entertainment background as well as events organization for young people to prevent a migration,
    – efficiency and effectiveness of municipal services did not reach an optimal quality level, neither Katowice nor the Metropolis,
    – increase of efficiency in a cooperation between academies and enterprises to win proper competences, up-to-date teaching programme tailored to City’s needs,
    – empowering citizens and entrepreneurs to make decisions on a planning of development of Katowice and the Metropolis.

From among the recommendations and twenty six adapted tactics prepared by IBMers, the City Hall will choose crucial issues for further implementation.

“We are very positively surprised with all what we have seen in Katowice and Upper Silesia last weeks. The City and region are on the right way to become the “smarter city” and the “smarter region”. A quality of a long-range planning, infrastructure investments, an interesting vision of the Agglomeration in the future and a responsible financial management give the region a very good mark for development” – said Andrew Fairbanks, Associate Partner in IBM and a member of the team. “But to move to the higher level of economic growth, following steps must be taken. An implementation of e-services, intelligent transport systems or shared service centers are some of tactics which may help to meet requirements of the region” – Andrew Fairbanks finished.

A second team of IBM managers will arrive in Katowice in July to continue the work. The team will prepare a final executive plan of the chosen crucial issues.

Every year about 40 top IBM’s managers are selected to participate in the initiative working as volunteers across the world. This year only three cities are visited by the company’s teams within the framework of the Executive Service Corps. These are respectively, Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Katowice and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).