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IT & Society

IT & Society: Advancements for the Greater Good

The pervasive nature of Information Technology (IT) comes with both great opportunity and great responsibility. EMC recognizes that harnessing the positive potential of IT is critical to long-term environmental, societal, and economic prosperity. Our strategic focus on three of the most important drivers in IT is shaping the future far beyond the boundaries of our own business. Our leadership position in cloud computing is reducing costs, creating resource efficiencies, and improving resilience and agility in a dynamic world. Enabling Big Data solutions allows our customers to analyze vast quantities of data that inform smarter decisions and tackle problems previously considered intractable in health care, public service delivery, environmental sciences and more. Additionally, our focus on providing trusted solutions helps protect organizations, infrastructure, and individuals in a world where everything is interconnected.

We recognize that not all aspects of IT are inherently positive. As seen throughout this report, we are working diligently to mitigate the environmental impacts throughout the value chain. We also realize that an increasingly interconnected world can result in the creation of societal issues never before encountered. We understand that IT is only a tool, and that it is our responsibility to encourage its use in ways that protect and promote well-being.

Fighting Fire with Technology Solutions

For the past three years, EMC has been using its best-in-class technologies to help address the dangers of bush fires in a community of nine million people in rural Australia. New South Wales, Australia is one of the world’s most susceptible areas for bush fires and represents a fragile environment that is under grave threat from climate change. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has benefitted greatly from EMC’s data solutions, such as VPLEX and VNX United Storage, to help combat the fires. These products have made the collection, analysis, and dissemination of critical information such as weather, traffic patterns, and up-to-date maps, more efficient and timely. As illustrated in this video, better IT solutions have helped the fire service streamline its operations and make it possible to help save lives.

Protecting Women in India with an Innovative App

The cases of crimes against women in India have increased at an alarming rate in recent years, and the Delhi rape case in 2013 raised many questions and concerns about the safety of women in India. With 672 members, The Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF), an organization within EMC’s India Center of Excellence (COE), decided to address this societal issue by developing an innovative technology called the ShieldMe App. The application can be activated by the user in situations of distress when no immediate help is available, using functions such as emergency contact lists, text messaging, GPS, and social media accounts to send out various types of SOS alerts. The app is compatible with Android and iOs systems and will be available in the EMC App Store in 2014. To learn more, see the video "Shield Me" -- An App designed for the security of women.

Supporting Climate Change Research in Antarctica

In December 2013, with the support of corporate sponsors including EMC, 19-year-old polar adventurer and environmental campaigner Parker Liautaud and his team started a 640-kilometer trek from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to the South Pole. Along the way, they conducted scientific research about the impacts of climate change using the expedition truck to transmit live video and data online – bringing the expedition into thousands of homes. EMC added to the live coverage by providing IT support and interactive data visualizations to bring the reality and impact of climate change to life for an online audience. To learn more, visit the EMC DataLab on the Willis Expedition website or watch the Parker Liautaud expedition videos on the EMC TV Productions YouTube page.

Protecting Children Against Cyber Bullying

Contributing positively to society sometimes means helping address the negative impacts of IT. In this regard, part of EMC’s strategy aims to understand, prevent or mitigate these potential impacts. This includes “cyber bullying,” which refers to threatening, harassing, or embarrassing a person using the Internet or other technologies, such as cell phones. Young people are often either the instigators or the victims and the psychological and emotional impact of cyber bullying is similar to real-life bullying. However, while real-life bullying often ends when school ends, in the case of cyber bullying, there is no escape.

In partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland, EMC’s Ireland COE employees are volunteering as mentors and facilitators at Bishopstown Community School to help counter cyberbullying. In 2013, the students, with guidance from EMC mentors, developed a USB wristband called CyberSafe. Intended for children ages 10 to 18, it stores digital information to help address cyberbullying, including specific steps a student victim should take. Also included is guidance about using a smartphone or computer to take screenshots documenting cyber bullying, and then saving this evidence to the CyberSafe wristband.

Our hope is that the CyberSafe USB wristband will reduce the stigma associated with bullying issues and encourage increased reporting. The initiative was described by an Ireland COE employee as “by far the most innovative, practical, and useful product that I have seen developed” in his three-year involvement with the program.

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