It appears the Industrial Internet — the convergence of Big Data analytics with the Internet of Things — is poised to drive the next industrial revolution. How potent will this revolution be? According to Gartner, Inc., a technology research firm, the Industrial Internet will have 26 billion interconnected devices driving $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add by 2020.

A network of physical objects that can sense and interact, the Industrial Internet includes devices such as diagnostic equipment,medical devices, jet engines, turbines, robotics, and vehicle sensors. This massive network excludes smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

The most valuable opportunities in this coming revolution reside in health care, oil and gas, aviation, insurance, power generation, and distribution.Why? Because data generated by industrial equipment holds far more potential business value than information from social media and consumer Internet sources. GE recently announced that its Predictivity information services platform will realize $1 billion in revenues in 2014. That’s after the company committed in 2013 to invest $2 billion in health care information solutions over the next five years.

Still, many firms may struggle to align their organizations to capitalize on these coming opportunities. To effectively harness the Industrial Internet, the enterprise must overcome internal system barriers between departments, and cultural hurdles that thwart the collection and correlation of data. That’s in addition to talent gaps in critical areas such as data analysis, the gathering and consolidating of disparate information streams, and managers capable of using Big Data analyses to make sound decisions. Success in this new world always comes back to people — and the organizational culture within which they function.

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