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New age of industrial big data dawns

Tue 8 Apr 2014

Machines are moving into the cloud, heralding the age of Industrial Internet and a massive boost to global productivity.

At Cloud Expo Asia 2013, engineering giant GE showed off its “Industrial Strength” big data and analytics platform, called Predix, which, it says, is the first robust enough to manage the data produced by large-scale, industrial machines in the cloud. The Predictivity solutions – the services and technologies built on Predix, is aimed at major industries such as aviation, healthcare, energy production and distribution, transportation and manufacturing.

“This is a big data platform with a common architecture, combining intelligent machines, sensors and advanced analytics,” said John Magee, the chief marketing officer at GE Software. “It will bring new value to the wealth of data coming from these assets, their processes, and the enterprises in which they exist, setting the stage for a new wave of productivity gains and information-based services.”

He told delegates to CEA that there is an enormous business transformation being driven by the cloud and big data which is enabling an Industrial Internet which is, in turn, driving change in how products and services are built and delivered. According to research from The Wikibon Project, the total Industrial Internet technology spend will reach $514bn by 2020.

“While the Internet has transformed consumer businesses, there is still a lot to be done to enable the Internet to transform industrial businesses,” said Magee. “At the heart of this industrial transformation is that machines can be intelligent, connected, and that we can use software to analyse the information coming out of them – this is not just about business intelligence, but machine-centric distributed computing, deep analytics, statistics, machine-to–machine learning, modeling, and looking for signatures buried in that data.”

It is estimated that more than 95% of information in the industrial world is either dark or not even stored. “By tapping that information to make gains in how assets and resources such as fuel are used, or how operations and maintenance are accomplished, we can identify in the area of a trillion dollars of opportunity every year,” he said.

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