IBM recently announced a series of Big Data solutions designed to help entities prepare for myriad potential threats, including pending storms and criminal activity.

Through a strategic alliance with the Weather Company and its WSI division, IBM today announced its new Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) that uses weather data and sophisticated analytics to let customers better prepare for natural catastrophes, which caused 7,700 deaths and the loss of about $110 billion in property worldwide in 2014.

With the IOC tools, entities can better track storms in real time and even run scenarios to help identify key areas of vulnerability if a natural event occurs, according to Stephen Russo, director of public safety in IBM’s law-enforcement solutions unit. While the IOC solution has obvious use for emergency operations centers and other government agencies, it also is gaining traction in the private sector, he said.

“Not only public entities but private entities—such as insurance companies—are finding a lot of value here, so they can predict and understand where they have risk, where they may be able to mitigate some of that risk by being more prepared for either a natural disaster or situations where there have been a number of malicious, human-created problems that they can deal with,” Russo said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

“That offering allows us to not only respond to emergencies but also do a simulation of a large impending weather event. An entity can understand where certain critical assets may be taken offline and how to bring the environment back online, and make it normal again, as quickly and efficiently as possible.”  

IOC is part of IBM’s Safer Planet portfolio, which last week announced COPLINK on Cloud, which lets law-enforcement officials access about 1.1 billion criminal documents—the largest such repository in the world—in the IBM i2 COPLINK database by any authorized user with access to the cloud, Russo said.

While COPLINK has been used for more than 20 years and is installed in 22 of 50 states in the U.S., it has been a premise-based solution in the past, Russo said. By making COPLINK a cloud-based solution, it will be more accessible to current customers and is expected to be more affordable to law-enforcement agencies that lacked the technical expertise to maintain an on-premise system.

“That is now being made available as a cloud offering that will have all of the levels of security to protect the critical data, but it will be accessible to many law-enforcement agencies that either could not afford the cost of entry or the ability to put a system like that in place,” Russo said.