GE, the large industrial conglomerate, is re-positioning itself as a digital company.
Their recent ads describe GE as an "indugital" and "digidustrial" company. And yes, I agree these marketing efforts are still a work in progress.
They've coined the term "The industrial Internet" to describe their efforts and market. This is basically a new name for The Internet of Things (IoT), a term coined in the late 1990's and defined by Wikipedia as:
... the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
GE sees huge opportunities in this space, particularly by "merging machines and analytics".
According to their Industrial Internet Insights report spending on the Industrial Internet is forecast to reach $500 billion by 2020 and they say the Industrial Internet could add up to $15 trillion of global GDP by 2030.
They're not the only ones thinking this way. According to CB Insights funding of IoT startups has more than doubled over the past 5 years - from $768M in 2010 to over $1.9B in 2014.
We agree The Industrial Internet/The Internet of Things is a huge opportunity. We even (disclosure) own GE stock as well as stock in several other IoT private and public companies.
We also think the Internet of Things will create new opportunities for small businesses.
We recently partnered with Intuit on a forecast of cloud application use by small businesses. The Intuit chart below shows the average number of cloud applications used by SMBs growing from 3.1 in 2015 to 8.2 in 2020.
One of the drivers of this growth is the Internet of Things.
In particular, we think small businesses will benefit greatly from the IoT by adding applications specifically designed to help them collect, analyze and use operational data to improve their productivity and efficiency.
We've posted in the past about the Internet of Things finally starting to reach its long forecasted potential. We continue to believe this is correct.