General Electric Sees Huge Potential for M2M, IoT

By Rory Lidstone October 29, 2013

Having already recognized the importance of including M2M solutions in its business strategy, General Electric is now shifting its focus on what allows these solutions to communicate in the first place. GE calls it the “Internet of machines,” Cisco seems to prefer the “Internet of Everything,” but most just call it the Internet of Things (IoT).

The M2M Internet is being treated as the next wave of industrial development, making it a potential source for future global growth. Indeed, M2M services alone are expected to reach $31 billion by 2017, at which time there will be over four billion M2M connections, according to Infonetics Research.

In the meantime, the “industrial Internet” is expected to boost productivity and minimize downtime in many industries by way of machine-to-machine collaboration and predictive analytics. By GE’s estimates, the industrial Internet could add $10-15 trillion to the global gross domestic product.

According to GE vice chairman John Rice in an interview with Inside Business, we are just on the cusp of the transformation M2M will enact on the world’s industries.

“I think we're beginning to see the power of the digital technology, machine-to-machine interface, the kind of things that can be done when we're extracting data from multiple sources and then creating world-class algorithms that help us process that data and turn it into information and decisions,” said Rice. “I think you're going to see transformational improvements in productivity in our big equipment businesses where we look at the cost of the equipment that we sell to an airline or a utility for power generation or a hospital.”

One potential concern is how M2M’s prevalence will affect jobs; after all, there seems to be a lot of talk about automation where M2M is concerned. However, Rice expects M2M will create jobs, albeit new ones. At first, he expects this will entail retraining, while schools will need to update their curriculums in the future.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

IoTevolutionworld Contributing Writer

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