A new revolution is under way that’s much bigger than Big Data: the Industrial Internet – a means for creating new business value by unifying the power of people, data and the industrial systems the world depends on.

GigaOm’s Jon Brunerhas written extensively about the Industrial Internet, describing it as installing intelligence above the level of individual machines— enabling remote control, optimization at the level of the entire system and sophisticated machine-learning algorithms that can work extremely accurately because they take into account vast quantities of data generated by large systems of machines as well as the external context of every individual machine.

GE is at the forefront of the discussion about the potential of the Industrial Internet revolution, which, according to GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, will add about $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030, the equivalent of adding another U.S. economy to the world.

Jeff Immelt GE Industrial InternetAs the head of a growing company that is very fortunate to work with GE (having them as both an investor and a customer on multiple engagements), I am thrilled to see them take such a visionary role in this important topic. 

Early in my career working in the life sciences market, there was a lot of talk about shifting the focus of patient care from reactively prescribing medications to advancing the field of proactive advanced diagnostics. While the benefits of doing this are obvious, the challenges were significant, not the least of which was the need for a cultural shift to get people to be more proactive about their health. I view the Industrial Internet as a huge enabler in driving this change forward, as it shifts the point of access to information to the moment of action versus a later time of reflection.

We are just now entering the era when the right technologies are available that allow us to align analytics with those critical moments of action. Business intelligence (BI), for example, has undergone an exciting transition to more agile and real-time BI, providing easy access to analytics and data visualization as things are actually taking place.