GE Digital Transformation

GE Digital Transformation: A Failure?

The GE digital transformation made a lot of efforts throughout the years. But what were the results? Sadly, it’s not what they’re expecting.

For one, many saw their transformation as a failure. Why? GE had grand visions for their journey. But they did not their target earnings.

What happened? Let us dig deeper into that in this article.

Behind GE Digital Transformation

GE started its digital transformation (Dx) in 2013. It planned to have its industrial internet. Thus, they got the help of Predix as its software platform.

In the next year, they predicted that they will have an income of $1 billion thanks to Predix. Then, the year after, GE said that they will make a separate business unit. They called it GE Digital.

Next, GE Digital reported more than 1,500 employees in their San Ramon, California office in 2014. Things were looking good from the outside.

But the same cannot be said inside. Why? Due to the number of business units GE had. Like:

  • GE Software
  • GE Transportation
  • GE Aviation
  • GE Power
  • GE Digital
  • and more

Then, each of these units would have its own set of IT needs. How did GE solve this? They had GE Software fill their needs. Thus, what happened was not Dx.

What GE did was digital enablement. Also, most of GE Software’s earnings were not from external businesses. Rather, it came from their other business units. As a result, they made GE Digital deal with external clients.

Thus, it is not an internal development shop and they made it in charge of Predix. Which, by the way, did not focus on long-term profits with their customers. Rather, Predix focused on short-term ones.

That is why GE Digital did not win in becoming a development platform for third-party clients. Also, most of its software was from GE’s various units or partners.

So, their move did not prove to be a game-changer. Thus, they did not hit the earnings they were looking forward to. But what went wrong?

What Went Wrong with GE’s Efforts?

For one, Dx does not equate to digital enablement. So, it is not enough to buy many digital techs for each business unit and call it a day. There needs to be a change in a company’s business model and mindset.

But that is where GE fell short. It only focused on digitizing each area of their company and called it a day. Further, they did the Dx from within their company.

Thus, it failed to make GE Digital separate from GE itself. As a result, it only followed GE Software’s footsteps.

Further, a Dx does not need thousands of employees to succeed. What is most crucial is having a few but innovative people to help with the journey.

Further, they failed to have long-term goals instead of short-term ones.

Learn From GE Digital Transformation

In conclusion, if you plan to do a Dx, learn from GE’s mistakes. Also, you can get the help of third parties like WalkMe to ensure a high adoption rate with your Dx.