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Precision Foreword


(Excerpt from Precision: Principles, Practices and Solutions for the Internet of Things)

It is no secret that technology brings change – fast. And it has been proven that the businesses that are able to embrace the change and use it to their advantage are the ones that survive and thrive. In the industrial space we are at a moment where technology is leading business strategy. That means that leaders need to rapidly embrace and understand how technology can and should affect their business. Timothy has had a front seat working with the leaders in the industry who are mastering the realizing of value from the merger of physical and digital.

For many, this merger is uncomfortable because when you start – you don’t always know where you will end up. You might end up on a path that leads you to make a change in a business model, a change in how your organization works or a change in how you view your competition. Sometimes it can even change the definition of who you compete with. At GE, we had to make some of these tough decisions as part of our own transformation. It wasn’t easy and we didn’t do it overnight. One key lesson is that one must always be learning to be successful on a digital journey.

Until now, most industrial business has been focused on making or owning the asset; essentially, everything that goes into designing, building, operating and maintaining an asset. Business leaders could focus on making improvements to things that were familiar or comfortable. Processes could be made leaner. People could be trained in Six Sigma to gain advantage. Now, thanks to technology, everywhere you look it is about how to get the best outcome from that asset. Those same assets can be monitored and operated in entirely new ways – driving improvements like never before. Better speeds, more information, better experience and more productivity – in short, better outcomes from every asset and industrial process. Industrial data coupled with the best analytics are becoming the center of competitive advantage.

The best companies of the future will be those that are able to master the emerging world of connected machines, capture new sources of information from sensors and build deep learning capabilities, all of which helps gain insights and get the most out of physical infrastructure. We are entering a world where we have a greater level of precision to our decision making than ever before. We will drive new levels of productivity that will become the driving force for the world’s economy.

Figuring out how to best capitalize on the Industrial Internet can be daunting and confusing. Here in Precision, Dr. Chou is helping to demystify the processes behind getting better outcomes from assets of any kind – machines, real estate, people, factories, etc.; from the initial setup of an organization’s IOT framework to defining the principles behind the operations and on to examples and best practices. With a proven case study approach, Timothy has gathered the right examples to help leaders grasp what they need to do and how to do it.

This book is approachable by any business or technical leader. It not only describes the promise, but more importantly makes the process of shifting your thinking and building your own strategy and plan easy to understand.

In the future every business will be a digital business. William Gibson’s quote “The future is here – it’s just not evenly distributed” is very apropos to the current state of affairs. It is important for businesses to begin their journey to being digital. This book provides both the crystal ball into the future as well as a roadmap to get started.

Bill Ruh
CEO, GE Digital and Chief Digital Officer, GE
April 2016, San Ramon, CA

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