A Closer Look at How GE Uses In­dus­trial In­ter­net to Cre­ate Value

and Peo­ple with Sav­ings in the Bil­lions

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Content - By Ra­nia Ros­tom | @ra­niaros­tom

The MENA re­gion is open­ing doors to the next leap in growth and pro­duc­tiv­ity by ush­er­ing in the new dig­i­tal in­dus­trial econ­omy, and it’s hap­pen­ing at the most opportune time. Faced by the twin chal­lenges of oil price volatil­ity and the in­creas­ing lo­cal de­mand for en­ergy to drive in­fra­struc­ture growth, pol­icy makers and busi­nesses are ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for greater pro­duc­tiv­ity and op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency at work.

At the heart of the dig­i­tal in­dus­try econ­omy is the trans­for­ma­tion of tra­di­tional in­dus­trial or­ga­ni­za­tions into ‘dig­i­tal in­dus­trial’ com­pa­nies. This trans­for­ma­tion has been brought with the in­tro­duc­tion of the In­dus­trial In­ter­net. The In­dus­trial In­ter­net is the “in­ter­net of really big things”. We call it the power of one per­cent.

A mere one per­cent mod­ern­iza­tion in tech­nol­ogy and oper­a­tions, en­abled by the mesh­ing of heavy ma­chin­ery with ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics, could equate to more than $150 bil­lion dol­lars saved an­nu­ally for in­dus­tries like en­ergy, trans­porta­tion, and health­care.

To put it in sim­pler words: In­dus­trial In­ter­net achieves un­prece­dented lev­els of pro­duc­tiv­ity by con­nect­ing ma­chines, big data, an­a­lyt­ics, and peo­ple. This mesh­ing of ad­vanced in­dus­trial tech­nol­ogy with big data an­a­lyt­ics al­lows com­pa­nies to pro­vide cut­ting edge so­lu­tions and ad­vanced tech­ni­cal prod­ucts more ef­fi­ciently.

The Ben­e­fits of In­dus­trial In­ter­net

From avi­a­tion to en­ergy to health­care to trans­porta­tion, In­dus­trial In­ter­net helps cus­tomers on a jour­ney to: Get Con­nected by en­abling smarter op­er­a­tors with vis­i­bil­ity into oper­a­tions any­time, any­where to ini­ti­ate im­me­di­ate ac­tion and understand per­for­mance at ev­ery level; Get In­sights by pre-empt­ing empts is­sues through pre­dic­tive main­te­nance to avoid prob­lems be­fore they hap­pen; and Get Op­ti­mized by im­prov­ing main­te­nance oper­a­tions and as­set uti­liza­tion for less down­time, in­creased pro­duc­tion and lower risk.

To­day, the tech­nolo­gies that were lever­aged to ad­dress the needs of peo­ple are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly chal­lenged. The de­mand for power, even in en­er­gyrich coun­tries with vast re­serves of oil

and gas, is ris­ing ex­po­nen­tially. Power providers are strug­gling to bridge the de­mand-sup­ply gap. The de­crease in oil rev­enue led by the cur­rent volatil­i­ties fur­ther lim­its much-needed in­vest­ments in mega-power projects.

Sim­i­larly in the health­care sec­tor, the need for bet­ter med­i­cal care at lower costs is in­creas­ing, es­pe­cially led by the in­crease in med­i­cal costs. In avi­a­tion, there is a greater call for fuel ef­fi­ciency and emis­sion re­duc­tion, while in cities, en­sur­ing seam­less ur­ban mo­bil­ity con­tin­ues to be a sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment chal­lenge.

In­dus­trial In­ter­net steps in as a fa­cil­i­ta­tor of trans­for­ma­tional gains in pro­duc­tiv­ity by draw­ing on the power of big data and ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics to en­hance the op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency of heavy ma­chin­ery.

A more dig­i­tal hos­pi­tal means bet­ter, faster, more ef­fi­cient health­care. By us­ing the In­dus­trial In­ter­net to track and op­ti­mize treat­ment, pa­tient flow, and equip­ment use in hos­pi­tals, a one per­cent ef­fi­ciency gain glob­ally could yield more than $63 bil­lion in health care sav­ings.

A more dig­i­tal rail sys­tem means freight is de­liv­ered faster and at lower cost. If im­proved by one per­cent, this could yield an­other gain of $27 bil­lion in fuel sav­ings across the world­wide rail net­works. A more dig­i­tal oil field means bet­ter as­set man­age­ment and more pro­duc­tiv­ity at ev­ery well. A one per­cent im­prove­ment in cap­i­tal uti­liza­tion up­stream oil and gas ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment could to­tal $90 bil­lion in avoided or de­ferred cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­tures.

Rooted in the suc­cess of all of th­ese in­dus­trial use cases are high per­form­ing ma­chines and equip­ment work­ing seam­lessly to­gether to pre­vent un­planned down­time – what we re­fer to as As­set Per­for­mance Man­age­ment (APM).

Im­ple­ment­ing In­dus­trial In­ter­net in Com­pa­nies: the Case of GE

The ini­tial in­vest­ment re­quired to set up In­dus­trial In­ter­net in com­pa­nies de­pends on many fac­tors, one be­ing the size of the com­pany. For in­stance, GE has made a $1 bil­lion in­vest­ment in the In­dus­trial In­ter­net.

To­day, an in­dus­trial com­pany has to be a soft­ware com­pany in or­der to thrive. GE has more than 14K+ soft­ware pro­fes­sion­als around the world work­ing to op­ti­mize in­dus­trial as­set per­for­mance and in­dus­trial oper­a­tions. There has been an un­met in­dus­try need for cloud ser­vice providers to de­liver a plat­form that sup­ports the scale and unique re­quire­ments of in­dus­trial data. GE’S In­dus­trial In­ter­net ap­pli­ca­tions and so­lu­tions are pow­ered by Predix, a cloud­based op­er­at­ing sys­tem built ex­clu­sively for in­dus­try. It tells com­pa­nies what’s go­ing on across a net­work of con­nected ma­chines, whether some­thing’s wrong, and what they can do about it be­fore it af­fects oper­a­tions.

Is the MENA Re­gion Ready for In­dus­trial In­ter­net?

Ac­tu­ally, yes, it is. The GE Global In­no­va­tion Barom­e­ter Sur­vey that eval­u­ates the views of C-level ex­ec­u­tives on the in­no­va­tion land­scape, cov­er­ing sev­eral key mar­kets in the MENAT re­gion, points to the re­al­ity that the busi­ness com­mu­nity does not see In­dus­trial In­ter­net or Big Data as buzz words.

For ex­am­ple, ex­ec­u­tives in the UAE rec­og­nize the value of col­lab­o­ra­tion with 75% re­port­ing that the rev­enue gen­er­ated by col­lab­o­ra­tive in­no­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties has been grow­ing over the last year, higher than the global av­er­age of 64%. Com­pared to a global av­er­age of only 52%, over 78% busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives in the UAE also ob­serve that the na­tion is cur­rently in a new In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion era de­fined by the po­ten­tial of­fered by big data in­te­gra­tion.

In­deed, In­dus­trial In­ter­net is look­ing into the fu­ture to­day and re­al­iz­ing the un­locked po­ten­tial of busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions. It is about ‘ be­ing the change’ in to­day’s fast-chang­ing world. It is a growth op­por­tu­nity that must not be missed that en­ables busi­nesses to se­cure their place in the dig­i­tal in­dus­trial econ­omy.

And for de­vel­op­ers in the Arab world, this presents an ideal sound­ing board to fo­cus their ef­forts on in­no­va­tions for the in­dus­trial world, thus open­ing a new av­enue for growth.

What It Means for Coun­tries in the Re­gion?

The im­pact of In­dus­trial In­ter­net is not con­fined to in­dus­tries or man­u­fac­tur­ing. It has a larger re­mit in meet­ing the so­cioe­co­nomic goals of the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly in pro­mot­ing job cre­ation, hu­man cap­i­tal de­vel­op­ment, and ush­er­ing in a cul­ture of lo­cal­ized in­no­va­tion. It is also a big driver of lo­cal en­trepreneur­ship.

With the adop­tion of In­dus­trial In­ter­net, we are driv­ing an in­no­va­tion-led co-cre­ation model that in­volves the peo­ple, tal­ent, and re­sources of the lo­cal com­mu­nity. It pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for SMES to part­ner with in­fra­struc­ture megapro­jects.

By pro­vid­ing tools and so­lu­tions for in­di­vid­ual work­ers, com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments, the man­u­fac­tur­ing process, sup­ply chains and dis­tri­bu­tion net­works are be­ing pos­i­tively im­pacted. The cre­ation of lo­cal sup­ply chains lead to the de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ing and boost­ing ex­ports- and ul­ti­mately help­ing cre­ate train­ing and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties for youth.

“In­dus­trial In­ter­net is look­ing into the fu­ture to­day and re­al­iz­ing the un­locked po­ten­tial of busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions.”

Ra­nia Ros­tom is Chief In­no­va­tion Of­fi­cer at GE in the Mid­dle East, North Africa & Tur­key and a coau­thor of ‘Map­ping the Fu­ture of Work in MENAT.’

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