Today at its Minds + Machines conference, GE (NYSE:GE) unveiled new research highlighting an emerging gap between executive outlook for digital transformation and initiatives companies have put in place. The survey of Information Technology (IT) and Operations decision makers found that while companies see the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as presenting significant opportunities for future growth and competitiveness, the vast majority are not taking the actions required to benefit from those opportunities.
According to the study, optimism among industry executives for the potential of the Industrial Internet is striking. Eighty percent believe the IIoT will or could be transformational to their companies and industries. Even more consider digital industrial transformation to be important to their competitiveness. At the same time, only 8 percent of those executives say digital transformation is ingrained in their businesses, and 10 percent do not have a digital transformation plan in place.
GE Digital Industrial Evolution Index
Based on the research study, GE created the GE Digital Industrial Evolution Index to track the real progress of digital transformation – from outlook on the IIoT to readiness to transform. The inaugural Index reflects a total score of 63 on a scale of 100 and indicates that while outlook for the Industrial Internet is very strong, scoring 78.3 (out of 100), company readiness significantly lags, scoring 55.2 (out of 100). This disconnect – between outlook and company readiness – presents both a challenge and opportunity for companies seeking to benefit from the IIoT. Additional survey findings included:
Digital Transformation Critical to Growth and Competitiveness: 86% believe digital industrial transformation is important to the competitiveness of their companies, with the majority (76%) rating the ability to provide higher quality services as the foremost outcome of digital industrial transformation.
Connectivity and Industrial Apps Most Critical for IIoT: IT and Operations Decision Makers (IT/OTDMs) overwhelmingly cited connectivity (63%) and industrial applications (58%) as the primary technologies required for digital transformation.
IIoT Platform, Apps and Analytics Priority Investments: Respondents view an IIoT-ready platform (22%), Industrial Applications (14%) and Big Data Analytics (14%) as the most important technologies to invest in.
Cost Matters: Most respondents cited investment costs (42%) as the leading barrier to digital transformation, followed by system security (32%) and data privacy (32%) concerns.
Digital Transformation Will Require Organizational Change: 54% of IT/OTDMs believe their organizations need to transform to enable digital transformation.
66% believe data analysts will need to be integrated into all departments/units
61% believe IT functions will need to become part of the central operating function of their company
55% believe their companies are responsible for ensuring the workforce is ready for the IIoT