What’s New in The New Economy?

by Zoltán Vámos | on October 27

Clive Hunby, creator of the Tesco Clubcard, gave the business world a glimpse of the future when he famously declared back in 2006 that: “data is the new oil”.

The revolution in information and communications technology has made knowledge a competitive resource. Data is the new currency; the new raw material and it is changing the way companies do business and even the sort of business they do.

Channelling this new resource is the Internet of the Things — and just as the consumer Internet transformed the way we live as individuals, the IoT is on the brink of doing the same for industry. Yet we’re barely scratching the surface of what is possible. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the IoT could add 6 billion dollars to the global economy by 2025. At GE, we believe it could be even more — as much as 10 to 15 trillion dollars in 20 years. The exponential growth of this new economy cannot be overstated.

The entire world is now connected in a single electronic marketplace, meaning traditional boundaries of place and time are no longer relevant — and in this economy of information, personalisation is everything. Customers’ expectations are changing, with a growing demand for bespoke services that meet their needs and priorities, at a time and place that is convenient to them.

The availability of data from billions of connected devices is making this a possibility but for businesses that were traditionally focused on manufacturing, it requires a fundamental shift in focus from simply providing products to helping customers achieve their desired outcomes. As more products become smart and connected, software is therefore emerging as the connective tissue for value creation, even for companies that sell physical goods.

To go back to the oil metaphor, data is comparable to the crude liquid at the point of extraction: it needs to be refined before real value can be drawn from it. Without software and analytics, data is meaningless. We need intelligent machines and applications to provide the interface through which users can make sense of the information because, let’s not forget, technology is simply a conduit for sharing knowledge. It’s people that create true value from the insights and lessons the data provides.

The question is how should we apply this knowledge? How do we extract meaning and create benefits for customers and citizens? This is why we have recently launched Predix.io — our dedicated cloud environment that allows app developers to tap into vast reserves of operational data, opening up the possibilities for them to create their own meaning. This will deliver an unprecedented platform for the Industrial Internet, creating a unique market opportunity for developers to build services and apps that have the potential to transform industries and cities — from smarter, more efficient factories, to safer, hospitals and less congested streets.

Most crucially however, Predix.io converges the digital and physical worlds, allowing the vast amounts of data generated by GE’s extensive global hardware network to be fully exploited. This places GE in a unique position, being able to combine both the hardware and software that is required to deliver the Industrial Internet of tomorrow.

« How Much Further Can We Go With No Energy?

Originally published at www.illuminatedminds.eu on October 27, 2015.