In the rush to keep pace with the rising tide of digital transformation, it’s tempting to jump headfirst into the Industrial Internet of Things without a definitive plan for the end-user experience. But for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking to branch out into service offerings, there is one cardinal rule: everything begins with the customer and their needs.
It’s crucial to architect a solution that’s responsive to the needs and pain points of the customer who’ll be using it. Although most industrial organizations are looking to achieve similar outcomes—reduced unplanned downtime, greater visibility across asset portfolios, improved productivity, and streamlined systems integration—there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. An effective IIoT deployment cannot exist in a vacuum—it must conform to the unique characteristics of the customer environment.
Going beyond predictive maintenance
This presents a far broader mandate than simply enabling equipment monitoring or predictive maintenance for a customer. OEMs must consider, for instance, the security implications of what they’re proposing. As an OEM, you’ll want to connect every piece of equipment to the customer’s network. While that might reflect IIoT best practices, it’s also a great way to rattle the customer’s network administrators. Customers need to know that even though their systems are connected to the cloud, with the right industrial solutions, they’re nevertheless protected against malicious attacks and data breaches.
Another critical consideration for industrial customers is interoperability. An IIoT deployment should integrate natively with existing hardware and software components, and also be future-proofed to work with new systems. But as more and more systems are connected together under a unified IIoT platform, rising complexity becomes a potentially expanding problem. Consequently, it’s crucial for OEMs to create a user-friendly experience that enables even non-technical operators to effectively leverage the technology.
Partnering for IIoT success
While all these considerations add up to daunting challenges, OEMs don’t need to take this journey alone. GE and its expansive ecosystem of partners, systems integrators, and independent software vendors are there to mediate each step of the process and ensure that OEM IIoT offerings are aligned to the specific needs within their end customers’ environments.
It’s never easy pivoting to a new business model such as smart connected service offerings, but with a strong community of talented innovators supporting your deployments, and a suite of cutting-edge technology, battle-tested in some of the world’s most challenging industrial environments, the future for OEMs is bright.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can transform organizational culture in today’s digital age, I recently participated in a GE Digital webcast on this very topic. Click the link below to watch a segment from this webcast.