The days where people thought of General Electric as “an old industrial company” are over.
That’s according to GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who spoke with CNBC’s Jim Cramer in Wednesday’s episode of “Mad Money.”
Cramer asked Immelt about a TV advert GE has been running in which a developer has to explain to his friends he has a job at GE.
Immelt replied with an all-encompassing picture of the internet [emphasis ours]:
“This may be one of the most important things that your investors can think about. There’s a lot of buzzwords out there, the internet of things, industrial internet. Here’s what I would tell the people watching your show.
A locomotive today is a rolling data center. An aircraft engine is a flying data center. This is producing terabytes of data every day. This data can be used to give back to customers, to drive fuel-efficiency, better performance, better environmental performance. We can take the same technology and do it in our plants. So, every investor of an industrial company ought to understand what their internet strategy is.
GE coined the term “industrial intenet” in 2012, giving a name to it’s massive push into the digital space. The multinational giant began developing ways to integrate equipment sensors, artificial intelligence technology and data software with their industrial equipment.
The technology, in turn, feeds real-time data to the equipment’s owners, which leads to mean higher efficiency and productivity.
We’ve already been doing this for five years, so I think we have a leadership position. But Jim, I don’t have to tell you, if you go back 15 years, trillions of dollars of wealth have been created in industrial internet stocks over the last 15 years. If you look out ten or 15 years, there’s going to be trillions of dollars of wealth created in the industrial internet, and we’re just in the first inning.
And I want GE to get its fair share of that. So, maybe we think of ourselves or people think of ourselves as an old industrial company. Those days are over. We think this is a place we can play. And we’re participating in multiple ways. So, investors don’t have to understand everything about it, but ask questions about it. But for us, higher margins, faster growth. Participate from a value standpoint the way that value is created on the consumer internet over the past five, ten, 15 years. We think this is possible for GE.