Rarely in the field of industrial maintenance does a game-changer come along, and even when it does the resistance to change often defies logic. (Where else do you find businesses that still pay $40,000 for a tablet computer?)

Let's face it, most opinion leaders in maintenance organizations across the U.S. are planning for retirement and have no desire to rock the boat, and that may leave their organizations vulnerable, and their supervisors uninformed and ill-equipped to anticipate the coming change.

The pervasive mistake, committed by legions of businesses a decade ago, is to underestimate the potential for online maintenance strategies to move the economic needle of the enterprise.

Like it or not, a game-changer is here, and it's in the form of remote wireless monitoring.

Why is the future coming so fast?

Because the so-called "internet of things" changes the equation, just as the internet has altered everything else.

Wireless remote monitoring will have effects far beyond the maintenance organization and even beyond the plant. It has implications for how the senior-most officers of major industrial enterprises will be judged by regulatory bodies and capital markets alike, and for the competitive strategies of the OEMs and industrial service suppliers that supply these enterprises.

Starting on the plant floor and working our way into the boardroom, let's see how.