This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

From the earliest days of our now seven-year journey to create the Industrial Internet market category and bring it to life, GE Digital has been hailed by various analyst firms as an early innovator and leader in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). 

We are happy to see more firms evaluating the IIoT platform space – a sector that we know is critical for the future of industry. The IIoT market is young and evolving quickly, so it isn’t surprising to see confusion around what makes a strong IIoT platform. 

True IIoT requires multiple technologies–connectivity, cloud computing, data ingestion and analytics at the edge, machine learning, security and more. We develop products for the needs of the future, not the past. Few IIoT platform providers have the depth of experience and use cases we do–and are delivering real outcomes for customers. 

Some customers tell us on-premises deployment is important, but our experience shows that industrial companies want an edge-to-cloud distributed platform–providing computing power at the edge, in the cloud or along the technology stack. And that is how we built our offering. 

Gartner research indicates: “the majority of organizations are engaged in planning or doing their migration to the cloud as part of their adoption of digital business. Some plan to make a clean break from a local data center, but most anticipate managing a hybrid computing environment in the long term. This migration is typically associated with an increasing pace of innovation.” Another area of that same report notes shifting platform considerations, “Cloud has become the preferred platform for enterprise innovation in technology and business. It is a core component to facilitate and enable organizations' digital business transformation.” (Source: Gartner, The Key Trends in PaaS, 2018, February 2018) 

We agree with this assessment and believe an IIoT platform needs to meet three main criteria:

  1. Multi-location workloads – such as applications, analytics, etc.–in varied locations across a distributed edge-to-cloud technology stack to accommodate various use cases.
  2. Asset model as a basis for digital twins.
  3. Data fabric that can securely process and store many kinds of data, as well as support integrations and analytics across the fabric. 

We build industrial applications around our customers’ entire systems of assets–from the edge to the cloud in a distributed network–underpinned by the leading IIoT platform, Predix Platform. 

As a first mover in the IIoT space, we made GE the proving ground for digital industrial transformation and are passing that expertise on to customers. We know what industry needs to be successful, and the more than 1,000 customers globally who are already benefiting from our Predix portfolio agree.  

The industrial world is moving at breakneck speed, and the market is evolving fast. We are constantly looking to the future, listening to our customers and honing our offerings to ensure we provide industrial companies with tools and platforms that drive successful digital transformation. GE currently has the largest set of customers in production in the world–and we learn from that work every day. 

Predix Platform: An asset-centric data foundation

GE Digital Programmers

Technical brief

Predix Platform is a comprehensive and secure application platform to run, scale, and extend digital industrial solutions. The platform delivers shared capabilities that industrial applications require: asset connectivity, edge technologies, analytics and machine learning, big data processing, and asset-centric digital twins.

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About the author

Bill Ruh

Chief Digital Officer, GE and CEO, GE Digital

Bill Ruh is the chief executive officer for GE Digital as well as the senior vice president and chief digital officer (CDO) for GE. Bill is responsible for global IT as well as creating GE’s Digital Thread, a next-generation system for streamlining design, manufacturing, and support processes. He joined GE in 2011 to establish its Industrial Internet strategy and to lead the convergence of the physical and digital worlds within GE globally. Previously, Bill was vice president at Cisco, where he held global responsibility for developing advanced services and solutions. A 30-year veteran of the software and Internet industries, he has held executive management positions at Software AG, Inc., The Advisory Board, The MITRE Corporation, and Concept 5 Technologies. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from California State University, Fullerton.

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