GE has presented a new study at its Minds + Machines conference that highlights the growing gap between management expectations and corporate realities in terms of digital transformation. The survey of IT and operations executives shows that companies see the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as a significant opportunity for new growth and competitiveness – but largely do not make the necessary changes in the business to capitalise from these opportunities.
“The industrial Internet already has a huge impact on industrial companies of all sizes. We know that because we can generally see its benefits across our customers and GE,” commented Bill Ruh, GE Digital’s CEO. “At the same time, there is a clear gap between the expectations of the IIoT and the actions of companies. We are working to bridge this gap with our customers to accelerate transformation and accompany companies of all sizes on their digital journeys.”
According to the study, the optimism about industrial Internet among the leading companies in the industry is striking: 80 percent believe that IIoT will or could change their companies and industries. An even greater number believe that digital industrial transformation is important for their competitiveness. At the same time, less than 8 percent of senior executives say digital transformation is anchored in their businesses, and 10 percent have no plans for digital transformation.
The GE Digital Industrial Evolution Index
Based on the study, GE has created the GE Digital Industrial Evolution Index to monitor the true progress of digital transformation – from expectations of the IIoT to business reality. The first-ever index rates progress at 63 out of 100 possible points and shows that, although expectations for the Industrial Internet are very high (at 78.3 out of 100), the willingness of companies is significantly lagging behind (with just 55, 2 out of 100 points). This difference between expectation and willingness is both a challenge and an opportunity for companies that want to benefit from IIoT. Further results of the study are:
- Digital Transformation Critical to Growth and Competitiveness: 86 percent of respondents believe that digital industrial transformation is important to the competitiveness of their businesses, while the majority (76 percent) rate their ability to deliver higher quality of service as the key outcome of digital industrial transformation.
- Connectivity and Industrial Applications Critical to the IIoT: Executives cite connectivity (63 percent), industrial applications (14 percent), and big data analytics (14 percent) as the key technologies for digital transformation.
- IIoT platform, applications and analytics as an investment priority: Respondents see an IIoT Ready Platform (22 percent), Industrial Applications (14 percent) and Big Data Analytics (14 percent) as the key technologies for investment.
- Costs are important: Most respondents (42 percent) cited costs as the biggest barrier to digital transformation – closely followed by system security (32 percent) and data protection (32 percent).
- Digital transformation requires change on the corporate side: 54 percent of respondents believe that their company needs to change to implement digital transformation.
– 66 percent believe that data analysts should be integrated into all departments
– 61 percent believe that IT functions should become part of the company’s core operations
– 55 percent believe companies are responsible for preparing their employees for industrial IoT.
Promote the digital industrial transformation
GE Digital works to bridge the gap between opportunity and reality by making the Industrial Internet accessible to businesses at every stage of the transformation. The company helps its clients realise the real and immediate benefits of the IIoT by providing new partnerships, industry-leading tools and applications that increase efficiencies and growth. Customers who already benefit from the IIoT’s performance include:
Exelon, a Fortune 100 energy company, is working with GE to deploy Predix-based software solutions in Exelon’s energy network. The implementation of analytics based on machine learning increases the reliability, availability and efficiency of the energy network for more than 10 million customers. The current announcement follows the existing collaboration with GE on the use of Predix-based software on all of the company’s generators.
Quantas, the largest Australian airline, and GE Aviation have developed FlightPulse, a new application that provides pilots with all the flight data needed to fly more efficiently and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. FlightPulse is the first fully commercialised product developed using GE’s Predix mobile services, using data from aircraft combined with Smart Analytics to give pilots secure access to their individualised efficiency data and trends. Last year, with support from GE, Qantas saved more than 30 million kilograms of fuel compared to last year.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) uses GE transportation’s Movement Planner as a key technology for the ARTC Network Control Optimization (ANCO) program. The Movement Planner supports real-time rail traffic planning and optimisation to move cargo even more efficiently. In addition, the Movement Planner serves as the foundation of digital transformation in train control, a key feature of the ANCO project.
Invenergy, the largest private energy company in North America, and GE have recently announced a 2000-megawatt wind farm called Windcatcher, which will be the largest wind farm in the US and the second largest in the world. Invenergy plans to implement GE’s Digital Wind Farm along with Asset Performance Management (APM) and Operations Optimization (OO) software as part of the project. In addition, the company also works with GE on cybersecurity across its fleet.
Rumo, one of Latin America’s largest rail logistics companies, is using GE Transportation’s Trip Optimizer to increase the efficiency of more than 2,000 kilometres of rail network in Brazil. Running on GE’s GoLINC onboard computing platform, Trip Optimizer is a software-based energy management system that analyses data to optimise trains’ fuel consumption.
JPMorgan Chase is currently in the second phase of an existing collaboration with GE’s Current to install new energy management and digital technologies that increase the energy efficiency of some 4,500 Chase stores in the US. So far, 3,000 branches have already been equipped with LED lighting. Energy consumption was reduced by 50 percent – the equivalent of 27,000 fewer cars on the road.
The world of industry is complex and creates unique technological challenges. The IIoT requires a variety of technologies – connectivity, control systems, cloud computing, data feed and management, analytics and machine learning, security and privacy – for a variety of different users and scenarios. GE Digital leverages its expertise and experience to make the IIoT more accessible, more actionable and more influential for businesses of all sizes – by providing a blueprint that only needs to be customised to make more of industrial assets, measure ROI, and to improve the business results.