EY and GE Digital combine to provide Industrial Internet of Things

20 May 2016 Consultancy.uk 5 min. read

The digital transformation of industry is set to radically increase productivity while slashing costs. The Industrial Internet of Things is one of the wider digital technologies set to take part in the transformation. To better support companies seeking to adopt IIoT technologies in their wider value chains, GE Digital and EY have decided to join forces.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), whereby intelligent machine and humans, along horizontal and vertical supply chains, are integrated, has the potential to significantly improve productivity and reduce costs. A recent report from Accenture highlights that the IIoT may increase the GDP of 20 major economies by $14.2 trillion by 2030. The IIoT is also one of the key technologies in the development of Industry 4.0, which is set to receive almost $4.5 trillion in funding over the coming five years. 

While the strategic value potential is understood – improved communications between networked devices creates distinct efficiency advantages across planning, logistics, and maintenance – a number of barriers remain. One such barrier is a lack of ubiquitous communications standard for the wide range of devices seeking to communicate with each other, whether internally or between vendors. The safety of the network is also a concern, with the addition of hundreds, and potentially thousands, of devices adding a range of new, potentially insecure, interfaces from which to mount attacks. The rapid transformation of industry by intelligent machines may also see workers side-lined, with yet unclear consequences. 

EY and GE Digital strike IIoT alliance

In a bid to improve their end-to-end support to organisations seeking to embrace IIoT propositions across their value chains, EY and GE Digital have formed an alliance. GE Digital, a $6 billion division of GE that focuses on digital software solutions and services for the industry, will work together with experts from EY’s Technology practice, to create and deliver industry-specific services based on GE’s Predix cloud-based operating system.

Through the closer collaboration, EY gains access to digital tools and domain expertise from across GE, while EY provides its US counterpart with its extensive experience in business transformation; IoT, data analytics and IT cybersecurity ; and access to resources across multiple regions.

The companies have built up a ten year long track record of working together, which is being further formalised through the alliance. In addition, EY will join GE’s ecosystem of global alliance partners, joining the likes of consultancy and professional services providers Accenture, Altran, Capgemini, Deloitte, Genpact, infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro.

Jeff Liu, EY Leader for the GE alliance, and EY Global Sector Head, Technology, says: “With data and digital technology impacting every industry, businesses are under tremendous pressure to adapt in almost real time. Our expanded relationship with GE and approach to digital operations will enable us to bring innovative IIoT services to market to help clients dramatically improve productivity, reduce cost and increase revenues.”

Bill Ruh, Chief Digital Officer of GE and CEO of GE Digital, remarks: “We are building an Industrial Internet ecosystem with world-class partners who share our commitment to delivering better outcomes for our customers.” Ruh, who joined GE in 2011 to establish its Industrial Internet strategy and to lead the convergence of the physical and digital worlds within GE globally, goes on to say: “Together, we are co-developing solutions on Predix that will combine GE’s industrial domain expertise with EY’s innovative approaches to addressing complex business challenges to uncover creative ways to increase productivity and efficiency for our customers through data and analytics.”

Alliances & partnerships
EY has been busy striking alliances across a range of high impact fields. The firm recently entered into a strategic partnership with EMC, to leverage their joint strengths to better serve their respective client bases, as well as joining forces with Development Dimensions International, to bolster their joint strengths in leadership selection, training and development.