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GE CIO: Machines will tell humans what to do, not the other way around

Brandon Butler | Oct. 19, 2017
GE CIO Jim Fowler outlines his vision of connected machines and advanced analytics creating tangible economic impact

Fowler says his goal is to cap the use of on-premises resources and build any new applications in the public cloud. He noted public cloud is less expensive for GE than the company’s existing infrastructure; although he admitted not all companies will come to that conclusion. Fowler estimates 40 percent of the company’s infrastructure is in the public cloud, adding: “We’re going to grow that as far as we can.”


Changing GE starts from within

Instituting these practices across GE has not happened overnight, Fowler says, and it’s been part of a broader effort within the company to use software and other emerging technology to aid the business. One key to implementing this strategy, Fowler says, has been breaking down traditional vertical management structures to create more shared horizontal software platforms.

The Field Vision app, for example, is used by both the gas turbine and the medical imaging units, whereas in the past those may have been separate groups within the company each working on their own version of a similar resource. Workers are also encouraged to become multi-disciplinary and professional development training is built into workers’ schedules, Fowler says.


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