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September 06, 2014
Internet of Things Poised to Drive Unconventional Growth
By: Prith Banerjee

What will it take to be successful with the Industrial Internet of Things? With spending expected to reach $500 billion by 2020,1 manufacturing, mining, agriculture, oil and gas and utilities companies are all asking the question.

At Accenture, we define the Industrial Internet of Things as a “universe of intelligent industrial products, processes and services that communicate with each other and with people over a global network.” Early adopters have been exploring ways to use the Industrial Internet of Things for operational efficiency. Think predictive maintenance and quicker response mechanisms.

As just one example, Taleris, a joint venture between Accenture and GE Aviation, is an intelligent airline fleet optimization service that diagnoses and predicts aircraft maintenance issues before they occur using sensors to monitor aircraft parts, components and systems “from tip to tail.” Among other things, the service minimizes the disruption and cost of maintenance work by reducing aircraft downtime, streamlining spare-parts logistics and arranging for backup aircraft and crew.

This is a groundbreaking example. But so much more is possible. We believe the Industrial Internet of Things offers rich potential for companies that make industrial equipment and products to introduce new digital products and services—and generate new sources of revenue in the process. Equipment operators and owners can also benefit by avoiding plant and facility shutdowns.

To prepare for and realize the full potential of the Industrial Internet of Things, companies must focus on three areas:

  • Boost revenues by increasing production and creating new hybrid business models—Improve the performance of existing assets and processes, while also converting products to product-service hybrids. This will require companies to think unconventionally about customer value, determine which players from different industries could become collaborators, and leverage learnings from these new services to guide future industrial product development.

  • Exploit intelligent technologies to fuel innovation—Deploy sensor-driven computing, industrial analytics and intelligent machine applications over an Industrial Internet of Things platform to enable a new breed of revenue-generating, connected products with associated digital services.

  • Transform the workforce for the Industrial Internet of Things—Expand the talent base with key skillsets to create, support and sell new product-service hybrids and assimilate the intelligent technologies into the enterprise. Prepare workers to complete work differently in the Industrial Internet of Things era, such as operating unmanned aerial vehicles and robots, or controlling intelligent mining equipment from remote locations.

We cover these ideas in more depth in our newly released point of view, “Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things.” I urge you to read it and contact us to discuss how to incorporate the ideas into your company’s future.

You can reach me at or @prithbanerjee.

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