Industrial internet 2016: A reality check

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June 1, 2016 - The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is changing everything and has the potential to transform asset performance in industries that usually have very large legacy asset bases. Significant investments are predicted, considering the potential of the interplay between new technologies and legacy processes, assets, and systems. According to recent research carried out by Genpact Research Institute, in collaboration with GE Digital, Industrial Internet Consortium and Industry Week Custom Research, almost 81% of organizations believe successful adoption of IIoT is critical to future success; at the same time, only 25% have a clear IIoT strategy — and of those, only 24% are happy with its execution. Recent technological advances have fueled a lot of excitement around the game-changing potential of the industrial internet, however few organizations have an understanding of practical use cases and many of them struggle with the scalability of their industrial internet initiatives.

Advanced digital technologies allow for the storage and processing of vast amounts of structured and unstructured data. But the key doesn't only lie in storing more data. The data generated by industrial machinery (both volume and attributes) and its applicability to resolve business problems presents unique challenges. The challenge here is that while the technology is now beginning to mature, companies must wed the technology with their business. The solution framework must start with the business problems that industrial machinery organizations are trying to solve, and work backward to the actions, people, and—finally—data that is required.

In one such example, a leading power distribution company faced with high maintenance costs, decreasing profitability, and falling client satisfaction transformed its asset performance management program to ensure intelligent scheduling of preventive maintenance and standardized maintenance processes.

GE's Predix—the cloud platform for the industrial internet—helped standardize and automate the scheduling, workflow, and monitoring of routine, corrective, and engine-change maintenance work.

The platform-as-a-service for developing, deploying and monetizing industrial internet applications leverages game-changing analytical technology. The promise of such technology requires multiple capabilities to harness its full potential:

  • Domain expertise, from working on industrial assets and servicing engineering processes
  • Mastery of process design and operations
  • Robust understanding of analytics practices and processes

The overall impact of IIoT is going to be huge and the research shows high impact on growth levers, e.g., new products, enhanced customer experience (67%), and estimated average combined annual business impact of $1.5 billion.

A practical Lean DigitalSM approach can not only productively harness digital technologies, such as Systems of Engagement (SoE)™ and analytics, but can also help construct advanced organizational models and leverage them to deliver enterprise-wide impact. The resulting Intelligent OperationsSM constitute a more rapidly attainable, yet scalable and cost-effective, business process platform, built to adapt.

Author: Sukant Acharya - Vice President and Executive Client Partner