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Shimon Elkabetz
By Shimon Elkabetz
Shimon Elkabetz
Shimon Elkabetz
Shimon Elkabetz is the Co-founder and CEO of Tomorrow.io (formerly ClimaCell). He served in the Israeli Air Force for 11 years where he experienced multiple near-death weather-related experiences - stoking a deep fascination with weather. He holds a BA in economics from Ben Gurion University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
May 23, 2024· 3 min, 15 sec

The Business Case for Climate Resiliency

Weather is a big risk for companies, but it can be turned into a money-savings opportunity.

*This article was originally published to FastCompany in May 2024. 

Resiliency. As the climate around us changes, this concept is dominating conversations from the watercooler to the C-suite. But what does it really mean? Weather can be one of the biggest impact on business efficiency and operations, yet it remains an underappreciated risk in the boardroom. The growing frequency and severity of natural disasters and extreme weather events, as reported by the World Economic Forum, can upend even the best-laid business plans. The time has come for a radical shift in how we approach weather preparedness and build resilience.

As a cofounder and CEO of Tomorrow.io, a leading weather intelligence and climate resilience platform, I’ve seen this firsthand during my time in the military; and my cofounders and I realized that the weather industry was behind. With the accelerating impacts of climate change, this presented an enormous challenge.

We’re now on a mission to help businesses and governments turn the weather from a risk to a revenue-driver by building resilience.

WHY BUSINESSES NEED BETTER WEATHER INTELLIGENCE

The business case for better weather intelligence is compelling. According to Moody’s, trillions of dollars in global sectors’ debt are highly exposed to environmental risks each year. In 2023 alone, Tomorrow.io customers were under threat from weather 2 million times, meaning we identified specific operational impacts and provided actionable guidance to mitigate the associated risks. For companies operating on thin margins in weather-sensitive industries, even small improvements in forecast accuracy can translate into significant gains.

JetBlue, for example, saved $4 million per year by optimizing operations based on precision forecasts. A leading rideshare company leveraged our platform to pre-position vehicles ahead of demand spikes, leading to a 12% increase in ride requests. Even cash-strapped local governments have realized up to $15,000 in savings per winter storm through data-driven resource allocation.

Yet despite these compelling proof points, the vast potential of weather intelligence remains largely untapped. Too many organizations still treat weather as an uncontrollable external factor, reacting to disruptions after the fact rather than proactively managing risk. We see this pattern play out with disturbing regularity, whether it’s hurricanes, floods, wildfires, or winter storms.

Post-event rescue and recovery efforts, while noble and necessary, are a poor substitute for data-driven preparedness. It’s time for a paradigm shift from post-event response to pre-event resilience, both to save lives and to protect bottom lines.

WE CAN NOW LEVERAGE WEATHER TECHNOLOGY FOR PLANNING

The good news is that a solution is within reach. By harnessing next-generation space technology, advanced AI, and the power of cloud computing, we can democratize access to hyperaccurate, hyperlocal, and hyperrelevant weather insights on a global scale. Armed with this intelligence, businesses can optimize staffing, inventory, and logistics to minimize disruptions and maximize profitability. Governments can stage emergency assets with pinpoint precision to protect lives and livelihoods.

We’re now seeing how these solutions can impact people’s lives and the bottom line. Our weather intelligence platform is powered by a constellation of cutting-edge radar satellites, proprietary AI, and the world’s most accurate weather models—we’re bringing an unprecedented level of precision and actionability to weather forecasting on a global scale used by industry leaders including JetBlue, Fox Sports, Uber, Ford, and the U.S. Air Force.

Extreme weather may be inevitable, but business disruption and economic losses don’t have to be. As climate change continues to accelerate, the imperative for better weather intelligence has never been greater. It’s time for boardrooms and situation rooms alike to put weather at the center of their operational strategy. With the right technology and the right mindset, we can turn the weather from the biggest business risk to the biggest business opportunity. The choice is ours.

Shimon Elkabetz is a cofounder and the CEO of Tomorrow.io.

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