Monsanto\nMonsanto, the $15.8B sustainable agriculture company, develops products that allow farmers to produce more with less. In addition to providing seeds for fruits, vegetables and other key crops, Monsanto helps farmers improve soil health, farming practices and farmers\u2019 ability to conserve natural resources. \u201cTo meet the world\u2019s population needs in 2050, farmers will need to be producing double their yields,\u201d says Jim Swanson, CIO. \u00a0\u201cAs part of the solution, we are using information technology to get them there. We are turning data into food.\u201d\nSwanson and his IT organization see predictive analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pathway to unlocking digital yield. \u201cOur own footprint contains millions of acres that we harvest,\u201d says Swanson. \u201cThis is our learning lab. How do we produce more yield? How do we conserve more?\u201d\nMonsanto has combined over five years of field performance data with genomic analysis to understand which combinations of their existing seed varieties will produce new varieties with higher yield. \u201cWe use location and weather data to test our products before they are sold to farmers,\u201d Swanson says.\u00a0 \u201cWe use predictive analytics to focus our efforts on the products with the highest market potential.\u00a0 The more we can predict an outcome, the more efficient we are at delivering the products that farmers will need.\u201d\nTo accelerate the rate of decision making and to streamline operations, Swanson and his team are deploying a global IoT platform that connects Monsanto\u2019s combines, planters, mobile devices, shipping scales, and barcode scanners. \u201cThis fall, our North American corn harvester fleet was connected in real-time giving us access to the telematics, logistics and actual harvest data for the fleet,\u201d Swanson says. \u201cThis allowed us to optimize our harvest operations and to make critical advancement decisions in a more timely manner.\u201d\nThree Approaches to Innovation\nSwanson takes three approaches to developing and delivering predictive analytics and IoT technologies.\nDeveloping Internal \u2013 Example: FieldDrive\nFirst, Swanson looks to his own IT organization, for new ideas.\nIn early 2013, for example, the IT team developed a proof of concept for \u201cFieldDrive,\u201d a program that puts sensors into combines (machines that harvest grain crops) to collect real-time data on yields, soil quality and moisture as well as imagery data on the routes that the combines were taking.\u00a0 With FieldDrive, that data was then streamed via satellite back to the company\u2019s big data environment.\u00a0 By the following fall, growers were able to use the data to make key decisions about soil topology and combine routes, all of which improved harvest quality.\u00a0 FieldDrive was so successful in North America that Monsanto is now deploying it in Europe, South America and South Africa.\n\u201cWe\u2019ve collected more than 100 million machine metrics which allow us to make better decisions about quality and operations,\u201d says Swanson. \u201cWe\u2019ve shaved days per harvest through this information collected from the field.\u201d\nLeveraging External \u2013 Example: \u00a0Cargo View\nSecond, Swanson looks to partnerships with companies in other industries for technologies with useful applications in agronomy.\n\u201cWith AT&T, we discussed the possibilities of utilizing their Cargo View product, a sensor technology that AT&T developed to help companies monitor their shipments around the world,\u201d says Swanson. \u201cThink about a product coming off a farm and going to a manufacturing plant. Using sensor technologies, we can track that shipment, look at quality and change routing logistics based on distance.\u00a0 This would allow us to prevent product quality loss, which is an important objective for us.\u201d\nMonsanto\u2019s IT teams worked with their US business partners in supply chain to complete a rapid proof of concept for the new capability; they tested the APIs and validated the platform compatibility. They then placed the sensors within a load of corn during harvest. The devices streamed data real time, allowing the operations teams to adjust and mitigate risk due to adverse conditions. The sensors also provided the location of the trucks, which gave Monsanto supply chain people the ability to reposition truck traffic and pickers to optimize operations.\u00a0 The entire proof of concept took three weeks to execute.\nCargo View has been so effective in reducing seed loss and increasing seed shelf life in the US, that Monsanto now deploying in Mexico and Brazil where distances between fields and plants are even greater.\nAcquisitions and Partnerships\u2013 Example: Climate Corporation\nFinally, Monsanto seeks out technology acquisitions that can bring in whole new capabilities.\nFor example, Monsanto recently acquired Climate Corporation, a leading-edge analytics company that provides local weather monitoring. \u201cOne of the key decisions that a grower makes is weather,\u201d says Swanson.\u00a0 \u201cBy acquiring Climate, we can now combine sophisticated information about weather with our understanding of hybrids and disease.\u00a0 This information helps farmers both increase and protect their yield.\u201d\nA Culture of Innovation\nThis kind of innovation requires vision and focus on the part of IT. Swanson offers advice:\nKnow your North Star. \u201cOur greatest priority is unlocking digital yield for our farmers\u201d says Swanson. \u201cIn IT, we are always asking \u2018How do we turn information into food?\u2019\u00a0 That is our North Star and it gives us the freedom to think broadly. Vision should be something you never attain; you are always just driving toward it.\u201d\nSpeed up. \u201cWith so many opportunities in big data and IoT, we have to move much more quickly,\u201d says Swanson.\u00a0 \u201cStan Dotson, our IT lead for R&D, led the charge to move us from waterfall to agile, scrum and other more iterative development approaches.\u00a0 That shift was game changing and we are now delivering a new product every two weeks.\u00a0 We had to change the mindset around how IT shows up differently to deliver value. \u201c\nLook outside. Some companies still suffer from the \u201cnot invented here\u201d syndrome where they believe that they alone must be the source of new ideas.\u00a0 \u201cI am pushing on my organization to take an external lens and rewarding those activities that bring in insights from the outside,\u201d says Swanson.\u00a0 \u201cThere is a lot of innovation going on in the world.\u00a0 If we spend some time on the outside, we may learn something.\u201d\nAbout Jim Swanson\nJim Swanson joined Monsanto in November 2013 as Chief Information Officer. Before coming to Monsanto, he was a divisional CIO with Merck, where he was for more than eight years. Prior to that, he was CIO\/Vice-President with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D for more than nine years. Jim graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in BioScience and BioTechnology, and then received a MS in Computer Science, also from Drexel. In November 2014, Jim was recognized as one of Computerworld\u2019s Premier 100 IT leaders.\nAbout Monsanto\nMonsanto is a sustainable agriculture company that delivers agricultural products that support farmers all over the world. The company is focused on empowering farmers to help them produce more from their land, creating farm efficiencies, and reducing on-farm costs. Additionally, the company strives to conserve more of the world's natural resources, such as water and energy. Monsanto is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.