The Courage to Change Before You Have To

In January, GE announced plans to move its headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston. The move to the Seaport District, the city’s innovation hub, is symbolic of the digital transformation the 123-year-old company has undertaken. Central to GE’s transformation plan is the decision to integrate its software unit, global IT and commercial software teams, and cybersecurity capabilities into a new digital business unit. GE’s goal is to make its industrial products “smart”: Connected to the company’s ecosystem of apps, these machines will communicate automatically when they need maintenance, thus eliminating downtime and lapses in productivity. With this move — arguably GE’s most ambitious undertaking since its Edison Engineering Development Program — the company is aiming to become the dominant player in the industrial Internet of Things.

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