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September 17, 2014
The Digital Heartbeat of Industry
By: Walid Negm

The world has its fair share of profound challenges, yet somehow September’s new watch and product lineup launch by Apple put hundreds of millions of people in a state of suspense, wondering how they will change their world. That's not to take away from other vendors like Samsung and Google. They, too, are changing the world with their digital products—from smart TVs to self-driving cars.

World-changing developments are also happening at your electric company, at the oil and gas producer half-way around the world and especially at makers of equipment like jet engines and elevators. They’re even happening in obscure settings such as ports and shipyards. These very physical industries will rise and fall at the behest of digital technology driven by the Industrial Internet of Things.

For guidance on how to help your enterprise capitalize on the trend, I encourage you to read our new point of view, “Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things.”

This transformation matters if your son or daughter is looking into the future job market. It matters if energy sustainability is a core value. It matters if you are an investor or business executive looking for wiggle room to compete in digitally contestable markets that are being reshaped for tomorrow's winners and losers.

The Apple Watch can digitize its wearers’ heartbeats. And likewise the industrial economy —the 62 percent of the G20’s GDP spanning agriculture, heavy industry and resources – has a “digital heartbeat” too. It’s the digital heartbeat that powers Caterpillar to analyze data from its machines in order to help dealers proactively schedule maintenance, or tells a jet plane to adjust its flight plan in anticipation of a mechanical hiccup.

And so the press, entrepreneurs and Accenture are being more vocal about the Industrial Internet of Things. Soon we will see fascinating examples of equipment and machines that represent a leap forward in productivity. While we may not all be fixated to the same degree by ABB’s “YuMi,” a human-friendly robot, the companies using it certainly are wondering what the future holds.

In the same way that the Internet has changed how we educate our children, seek jobs, advocate for the environment or make money—so too will the Industrial Internet of Things pound out a digital heartbeat of profound change for profit and loss, risk and opportunity.

What’s your company’s next step with the Industrial Internet of Things? To discuss ways to proceed, send me an email at walid.negm@accenture.com.

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