CIOs, You Need a Seat at the Table

Energy Distribution

​This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

CIOs, do you have a seat at the table when your company buys industrial equipment?

You’d better.

These days, some assets are smarter than others, delivering big savings on long-term maintenance and future servicing. New technology has endowed turbines, aircraft engines, medical devices and everything in between with the ability to perform more efficiently and yield superior outcomes. To be effective, we need to understand and maximize these new capabilities.

One important consideration for any asset: how smart is this asset? As we’ve transformed GE into a digital industrial company, we’ve seen a new paradigm for field services emerge. While the specifics for each asset may be different, the broad contours are the same: smart field services means being able to move fast, is tethered to the cloud and, at its best, can predict (and prevent) a problem before it even arises.

Turbine Maintenance

Take this scenario: A giant turbine goes down. Traditionally, a team of anywhere from a dozen to 50 field engineers descend on the site to troubleshoot, figure out the problem and fix it. The process takes time, and each minute of downtime means lost productivity (and money) for the customer. GE has created a new solution called “Smart Outage,” a mobile collaboration tool for our field service engineers that connects them back to our experts and provides real-time information. This new approach empowers people on the front lines, giving them the right tools and capabilities to move fast. It also means less unplanned downtime.

But it’s not just moving faster or enabling our customers to solve problems on their own. It’s leveraging data to predict issues and maximize uptime. That’s why we developed a predictive field service management model on Predix, our software platform for the Industrial Internet. Predix is uniquely positioned to securely take in the reams of machine data, crunch it and help customers do more of what they want to do. In transportation, for example, we use analytics to help airlines minimize disruptions from mechanical failures and weather delays. Predix allows us to create maintenance schedules based on actual operating conditions, rather than informed guesswork, optimizing the entire process.

With these capabilities in hand, CIOs will possess some of the most valuable information for the business. It also becomes a tool for driving innovation internally—helping teams become more aware of how to get the most out of their industrial assets.

Empowered CIOs who are asking the right questions about these new, smart asset capabilities aren’t just helping their companies make better purchasing decisions. They’re helping them open up new, secondary value streams.

So pull up a chair...

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Jamie Miller

Innovation and transformation are the drivers for Jamie, Chief Information Officer for GE, responsible for IT strategy, services and operations. For Jamie, a former PwC partner and Controller at Wellpoint before joining GE, technology is the tool to deliver new outcomes and ever-increasing value for GE’s customers, investors and employees.

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