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General Electric's CDO outlines vision for industrial IoT platform Predix

Tamlin Magee | June 24, 2016
How the "digital-industrial" company wants to be the go-to for developing on industrial IoT

It's no surprise, then, that GE's core customer base has a different set of security needs to traditional IT.

"The problem we see is that most of the security out there is IT security," Ruh explains. "When we need to protect our data centres and our PCs, we're buying capabilities and applying them to what we have. The real problem is when you talk about securing power plants and grids, the vast majority of security investments in the IT community are irrelevant."

"They are not the same that you see against a gas turbine or a power plant. We're seeing that there's a gap in the security world and we've had to fill it in order to participate in it. Everything we do is aimed at around how you secure control systems, and how you secure remote operational technologies, not a data centre."

With the above considered, Ruh believes Predix will grow to a $10 billion business by 2020.

"Those are very aggressive numbers. [But] we continued a five-year movement to the cloud -our cloud strategy has a private community aspect to it. It's not a fully public cloud."

This, he says, is appealing to customers. "We can offer a more secure private cloud environment," Ruh explains.

"Obviously the value on top of that is how you manage industrial assets. There's a lot of unique capabilities about asset and asset lifecycle management. It's the ability to build highly valuable monitoring and diagnostics capabilities - for example, predictive maintenance."

According to Ruh, industrial businesses thinking about their product roadmaps now also have to think through the kinds of automation and sensors the equipment will be running - what needs to sit on a gas turbine, or in a locomotive, and what can that tell you?

"What does it mean to have a smart product?" he asks.

An example of this marriage between digital and industrial is one of the company's offerings in the locomotive sector.

"We built a new product called GoLINC," Ruh explains. "It's a data centre in a box you put onto your locomotive, and it allows you to build real-time applications that can connect out to the cloud.

"You're finding you have to rethink your end product. The ability to put a data centre on a ship is probably not far off. Then the question is: what do you do with it?"

And whatever you do with it, Predix is the platform GE wants you to do it on.

Source: Computerworld UK 


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