The Economic Value of the Industrial Internet

People whose job title includes “economist” are not often described as engaging or dynamic. If we’re going to be frank, I’d guess that the descriptors more frequently used might be closer to the opposite. Not so for Marco Annunziata, the Chief Economic Director, Global Market Insights at General Electric.

During the 2014 GE Minds + Machines, Annunziata spoke with Ben Casselman, Chief Economics Writer at FiveThirtyEight, a site that uses statistical analysis to tell compelling stories about politics, sports, science, economics and lifestyle. During the course of their discussion, Annunziata and Casselman reviewed the Industrial Internet, and the changes it is bringing to business, from all possible angles.

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While many large companies have seen bottom line improvements from making use of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies, they explained, small companies that are able to tap into the energy of the same technologies can also see filtered down benefits. “Industry has always been the power that generates economic growth and moves the economy along,” said Annunziata.

Annunziata and Casselman agreed that, as the prime engine of the technological transformation, the IIoT is helping industrial manufacturing to redefine expected economies and even lower barriers of scale in many areas.

Annunziata delves further into his take on the economic opportunities for industrial manufacturers in the white paper “The Value of Interconnectedness: Toward a new kind of industrial company.” He explains that, “Industrial Internet solutions are beginning to deliver substantial benefits to companies operating in aviation, energy, transportation and other industrial sectors, as well as to cities and hospitals. While we are still at the beginning of this process, Industrial Internet solutions are already having a meaningful impact in terms of revenue generation for a company like GE. Revenue and margin growth in these services should be considerably higher than in traditional industrial solutions, thanks to the accelerating power of digital technologies, network effects, and powerful economic incentives for adoption. For companies, the cost of doing nothing is simply too high.”

You can see the full white paper “The Value of Interconnectedness: Toward a new kind of industrial company” in the Smart Industry Content Library