Well, we’re almost a month into 2016. It’s amazing how far the industrial space has come in 2015, but more importantly, where we’re headed.
Bill Ruh, Chief Digital Officer of GE and CEO of GE Digital, calls it the Dawn of the Digital Industrial Era. And that’s such an illustrative way to think of it, because it’s only the beginning.
“But new developments in the industrial world won’t be confined to GE. Emerging trends are taking shape as businesses start to realize that they need to play ball if they want to remain competitive,” said Ruh.
Here’s what Ruh says are just some of the major trends he sees for 2016:
Industrial Companies Are Going Digital
Ruh said that the most valued companies are going to be the ones who strike a balance between digital capabilities and industrial assets. This partnership is critical to drive productivity and efficiency across the organization.
“This transformation will affect the front office all the way through the value chain through the use of digital tools like cloud, mobile, social, and most importantly, data, to change the way we think about products, services, ecosystems, business models, and customer experiences,” said Ruh.”
The App Economy Will Reach New Heights
According to Ruh, we can expect a digital, industrial “App Economy” to emerge to become deeper, broader and even more pervasive.
“Industrial-strength apps will guide predictive maintenance for factories, plants, and fleets of assets so they never go offline,” said Ruh. “Manufacturing facilities will seamlessly adjust to the market demands. Machines can provide cleaner, more efficient capabilities than ever before.”
Machines to Have Digital Twin
In the digital era, Ruh said everything will have a “digital twin.” Or, a digital model of every machine– whether it’s a jet engine or a locomotive– to introduce new business models through the Industrial Internet.
“The knowledge and expertise we acquire from developing industrial digital twins for physical assets will then be applied more in our daily lives,” said Ruh.
Even humans? “Ultimately, every human will have a digital twin at birth in order to identify better and more economical health-sustaining treatments,” said Ruh.
Any way you call it, 2016 is going to be a great year for the Industrial Internet. Check out a few other notable stories from this week:
How the IoT is Changing Industry Investment
According to research from the Industrial Internet Consortium, the Industrial Internet is now turning the venture capital model upside down.
Last year the consortium commissioned a project with New England Partners to define just what was changing, how companies were no evaluating opportunities and best practices when it came to IoT-related investments, according to AutomationWorld.
In short, according to the VC executives IIC interviewed for its research, the traditional VC model doesn’t always apply to industrial applications of IoT. Read more about why here.
Platforms on the Rise
According to a recent Economist article powered by GE Look Ahead, platforms-as-a-service (PaaS)–which provide computing platforms that developers can use to build new software in the Cloud– could empower the Industrial Internet.
And the PaaS market could grow 25% annually over the next five years, reaching $8bn by 2020, according to Transparency Market Research.
“A driving force behind this growth is the rapid evolution of the Industrial Internet, which relies on PaaS and associated applications to provide solutions that will help entities such as airlines, railroads, hospitals and utilities to optimise productivity,” according to the article. Read more here.