Thursday, October 09, 2014

Industrial Internet

I have been following the "internet of things" idea as it has emerged over the past few years.  I own a Nest.  I want a Sonos.  Etc, etc., etc.  But, I've always struggled at understanding the underlying value of such systems.  I haven't seen real problems solved by these devices yet.  I have no doubt that it will come, but the space is just too immature at this point.  Enter the "industrial internet".

I had the fortune of attending the Colorado Innovation Summit in Denver back in August.  There, GE's Jeff Immelt spoke of their significant investment of what they call the industrial internet.  Essentially, this is the enterprise version of internet of things, or industrial IoT.

My "ah ha" moment was the realization that opportunities in industrial IoT can win simply with a clear ROI.  And win they are - Mr. Immelt spoke of several examples already in play among their businesses where they are applying industrial IoT to deliver double-digit returns.

The same is true on the consumer side, but the definition of return is so much more difficult given human behavior.  And how that return is delivered on the consumer side can take so many forms.

However, among key industries, incremental improvements in efficiency have significant impact on profitability, given the minimal cost of implementation of many industrial IoT concepts.  These investments will have a huge impact on every industry and the global economy in the coming years.

Source: GE Estimates

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