Digital Industrial World: Hey SMEs and Startups, the Industrial Internet Is for You
By Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation & Communications Officer, GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey
Hey SMEs, entrepreneurs and startups, if you think the Industrial Internet is not for you … think again. The Industrial Internet is not just for giant companies with enormously complex systems or huge-scale industrial and infrastructure facilities.
At its essence, the Industrial Internet is about boosting productivity and operating efficiencies, improving reliability, and optimizing resources. Organizations — big and small — can benefit from these improvements.
For example, GE has already developed a range of Asset Performance Management software and technology solutions that bring machines and equipment together with data and analytics to improve the reliability and availability of industrial assets, minimize total cost of ownership, and reduce operational risks.
Whether you run a small or medium-sized factory, a hospital, or a local delivery or maintenance business with a fleet of vehicles, your operations are generating data, and that data — once captured and analyzed — can help you run your business better.
Here in this region, several startup companies are working to use the power of the Industrial Internet to provide operational and energy efficiency services to customers by using sensors, big data and analytics to help optimize areas such as building and vehicle-fleet operations.
At the Women’s Forum in Deauville, France, I had the opportunity to join other industry leaders on a panel discussing “Life at the Heart of the Industry 4.0 Revolution” in which we discussed how digitization is impacting the workplace and the factory floor, and how do we create better productivity .
By adding sensors — small pieces of hardware whose prices are steadily falling — to your factory floor or vehicle fleet, then adding data capture and analysis, you can optimize your assets, your systems and your machine performance to reduce costs and improve reliability. As well, Industrial Internet-driven enterprise management software can combine big data and software analysis to identify organizational efficiency opportunities, such as through better tracking and coordination of labor, supply chain, quality, compliance, and sales and distribution.
In many cases, these Industrial Internet “solutions” are really industrial-scale “apps” that are running on GE’s Industrial Internet operating system, called Predix. GE’s chief economist has just published a white paper exploring how the rise of the Industrial Internet will be powered by the growth of an industrial app economy, an economic force that will dwarf the impact of the consumer app market that we know so well.
There’s no doubt that some of the biggest gains from the Industrial Internet will come from large asset operators such as power plants, but ultimately, the Industrial Internet is a disruption that can deliver meaningful benefits to firms of virtually any size.