Creating Possibilities: The Industrial Internet and Sustainability

Introduction: The Next Wave Of Innovation?
Feb 11, 2013 4:45 AM ET

The Internet has supported an amazing array of innovation, fundamentally changing our lives, from the way we connect with each other to our shopping habits. While some argue that this wave of innovation has largely run its course, we believe that a new wave is just beginning. As articulated in a new GE report, “The Industrial Internet: Pushing the Boundaries of Minds and Machines,” we are just starting to fully integrate the Internet with the industrial underpinnings of the global economy, from energy generation and transport to water treatment, healthcare and beyond. As this happens, we are starting to see radical improvements in productivity and efficiency that boost economic growth, benefit the environment and make people’s lives better.

The focus is on using sensors, controls and software applications to link machines, fleets and networks with advanced analytics and with those who need better information to design, operate, maintain and interact with that equipment.

The Industrial Internet combines intelligent machines, advanced analytics and people at work in ways that dramatically improve productivity and efficiency. The emerging Industrial Internet is a new, powerful wave of innovation that combines the global industrial system with the open computing and communication systems developed as part of the Internet revolution. This opens up new frontiers to accelerate productivity, reduce inefficiency and waste, and improve people’s lives. The Internet has fundamentally changed the way people interact with each other—and the Industrial Internet is increasingly changing the way we interact with industry and infrastructure.

This integration of internet-based technology and the global industrial system is just starting. Intelligent devices, intelligent systems and automated decision-making will increasingly blend the physical world of machines, facilities, fleets and networks with the connectivity, big data and analytics of the digital world. This is being brought about by dramatically reduced costs of data processing through the cloud, as well as the declining costs of sharing information through mobile technology.

Read more about the Industrial Internet at