As GE’s premier Industrial Internet event dedicated to software, innovation, and the most powerful digital industrial outcomes, Minds + Machines is a meeting ground for industrial leaders, GE customers and partners, technology experts, developers, and more.
This year’s event, which kicked off yesterday in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, is bringing much more than the industry’s greatest minds: It’s buzzing with excited chatter, learning, and innovating about how to drive a complete and total transformation of the industrial sector.
As CEO of GE Digital, Bill Ruh, put it: Minds + Machines is about sharing experiences on the journey toward a digital industrial future.
Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from day one of Minds + Machines 2017:
Driving Digital Transformation
By the year 2020, there will be 50 million devices connected to the Internet. That means for every human on the planet, we’ll have about 6 “things” connected to the Internet.
This statistic isn’t just shocking – it underscores the increasing importance of IoT technology and the need for industrial companies to look toward the future.
As noted by GE CEO John Flannery, “the world has changed – and the industrial world must change with it.”
In his keynote address, Flannery noted that everything in today’s world is about the Edge – but not yet in industrial. Assets, rigs, plants, and infrastructure all need to be connected in real time to drive safety and productivity.
To that end, GE Digital has announced it’s expanding its suite of edge-to-cloud technologies to help industrial companies digitize their workflows. The agreement broadly expands integration of Microsoft’s cloud software with GE’s Predix applications.
Flannery concluded his keynote by emphasizing that digital should not be viewed as a side project for industrial companies. Instead, it’s a wholescale transformation to create industrial companies of the future.
Facilitating Cultural Change in a Digital Environment
Driving digital transformation isn’t just about having the right technologies in place to deliver outcomes. As noted by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, digital change doesn’t stop at assets – it’s about having the right people with the right skills and mindset to exact change.
Nadella stated that the most profound change is happening in companies when IT and OT come together as one capability to transform outcomes.
What’s of paramount importance in the digital company of the future is culture, said Nadella. Culture matters the most for coming up with new ideas and capabilities.
In a conversation with Flannery, Nadella said that he has strived to make Microsoft grow from a ‘know it all’ to a ‘learn it all’ culture, facilitating the type of growth mindset that can organically change culture.
Putting Digital Transformation into Practice
When it’s all said and done, what are the best ways for industrial companies to put digital transformation into practice?
To highlight some the successes and lessons learned from digital transformation, Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO of Current, powered by GE, and Mike Norton, Managing Director, Global Real Estate, JPMorgan Chase presented on real-world intelligent environments. Their session focused on how JPMorgan Chase and Current by GE are working together to drive energy efficiency, productivity, and sustainability at Chase branches across the U.S.
To date, 3,000 Chase branches have been retrofitted with LED lighting – the equivalent of taking 27,000 cars off the road annually for 10 years – and efforts are underway to install new energy management and digital technologies that will increase the energy efficiency of roughly 4,500 Chase branches across the U.S.
Bruce Stewart, Chief Marketing Officer at Current by GE, also moderated a panel on intelligent cities. Featuring panelists from the cities of San Diego and Atlanta, as well as AT&T Smart Cities and Georgia Power, the session focused on the ways cities can harness data to enhance safety, security, and transportation.
The CityIQ™ IoT Platform is designed with the future-proofed city in mind, which includes traffic optimization, crosswalk optimization, and parking enforcement. The end result is building a new level of engagement and trust in the community by taking open data from a transparency initiative to a function of economic growth.