Industrial Internet Can Save Industries Up to $20 Billion a Year

  • GE
FAIRFIELD, CT - New digital tools and predictive analytics will create a more productive industrial workforce as greater machine-human collaboration will reduce unplanned downtime, and new jobs are created by the need to develop and manage new technologies, according to a new report from GE. The report shows that the Industrial Internet, predictive analytics and new machine-human collaboration in the workplace can significantly boost productivity, create new jobs and skills, and minimize unplanned downtime in major industries.

The report, titled "The Industrial Internet@Work" and written by GE Chief Economist, Marco Annunziata, and GE's Director of Global Strategy and Analytics, Peter C. Evans, finds that the time and costs wasted are largely due to inefficiencies in how information is gathered, stored, accessed and shared. As information becomes more intelligent, the future of work will be transformed and a new, more highly skilled workforce will emerge. Workers will be able to spend more of their time in higher value-added activities, while upgrading their knowledge, skills and experience at a much faster pace. New digital and software tools will create a more efficient and productive way to interact with machines, increasing collaboration and faster information sharing.

"Gas turbine maintenance workers, for instance, do much of their service work on a set timetable and lack full real-time information about the condition of the turbine parts," Annunziata said. "If they come too late and failure occurs, unplanned downtime can cascade across the system and affect the economy. A new, highly skilled workforce will emerge as the Industrial Internet unleashes a new standard in efficiency that saves entire industries billions of dollars in unplanned downtime and turns industrial operators into skilled information-workers."

The report highlights the billions of dollars and hundreds of millions of man hours the Industrial Internet can save. This is just a slice of the total installed base of industrial equipment that requires the attention of operators, field engineers, fleet managers and executives who either have direct or indirect interaction with complex machines.


  • Time to Service: 52 million man-hours per year

  • Estimated Value: $7 billion


  • Time to Service: 205 million man-hours per year

  • Estimated Value: $10 billion


  • Time to Service: 52 million man-hours per year

  • Estimated Value: $3 billion


  • Time to Service: 4 million man-hours per year

  • Estimated Value: $250 million

According to the report, the Industrial Internet will create new jobs, both from the overall boost it brings to economic growth as well as the need to manage the new technologies it introduces. These future jobs like digital-mechanical engineers, data scientists, user interface experts, and business operations data analysts, will require new technical skills, and will enable greater workplace efficiency and productivity. This will result in increased job satisfaction among workers; Current workers will become fluent in emerging technologies, improving their efficiency, while new workers will be trained to contribute specialized scientific and technical skills.

The report shows that a majority of work is still being done in a scheduled and uninformed way, or happening reactively as technicians and engineers rush to repair preventable failures. Digital and software tools will introduce new workplace efficiencies and change the work experience for hundreds of thousands of workers, from field engineers and drilling rig workers to pilots, doctors and nurses. Specifically, this means:

Faster access to relevant information, through new insights from analytics and better communication to mobile collaboration
Increased machine-human collaboration; connected and communicative machines will self-monitor, self-heal, and proactively send information to other machines and workers

A wind farm engineer, for example, could soon arrive at work with a wireless device indicating which turbine needs attention and what needs to be fixed. The same device will store and transmit relevant technical information and enable the engineer to share information and learnings with remote colleagues


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