Mark Hutchinson is one of the leading thinkers on the internet of things. The CEO of General Electrics (GE) Europe forged the partnership between GE Digital and Bosch Software Innovations. In our interview, he talks about collaboration in an ever more complex world and Europe’s role in Industry 4.0.
An interview with the IoT expert Mark Hutchinson
The US doesn’t necessarily have to take the lead
As the CEO of General Electrics (GE) Europe, Mark Hutchinson knows the continent’s strengths: “I'm a big fan of Europe. Germany and France, in particular, have excellent capabilities in the field of engineering.” Europe is extremely important for GE. The company has 100,000 staff in Europe — including 11,000 in Germany — and invests billions on the continent. “We believe that Europe is competitive and can play a leading role in the digital revolution era. Not everything has to come out of the US.”
An even stronger partner together
Through the partnership of their software units, General Electrics (GE) Digital and Bosch Software Innovations want to promote growth in the field of Industry 4.0. “Bosch and GE are large companies active around the world. We know each other's strengths. To help our customers around the world to transition to Industry 4.0, we want to combine our capabilities and be an even stronger partner together,” says Mark Hutchinson.
It's important, he says, because the digital revolution changes not only the products, but also the relationship to customers. Customers no longer buy individual products but rather results: “Take a hospital, for example. In the past, you might have bought an MRT machine, but today customers want universal solutions for interrelated areas,” says Hutchinson. He notes that the relationship between customers and companies changes through the digital transformation too: “Our work is not done when we've installed a machine. By collecting data, we can continuously improve the products and enhance their efficiency. That constant exchange with the companies creates a brand new basis of trust.” With their combined capabilities, Hutchinson sees GE Digital and Bosch Software Innovations as well placed to fulfill the complex needs of customers: “In the world of digital industry, it's no longer simply a case of just competing, but of successful collaboration.”
A revolution of scarcely imaginable magnitude
Mark Hutchinson stresses the importance of understanding that Industry 4.0 is an industrial revolution which, like its three historic predecessors, will bring far-reaching changes. “Many still don't understand the scope this revolution will have.” The key now is to be prepared and open for new things. In the short term, he says, it is important to train employees at industrial firms, promote understanding of the changes and try out new technologies. “All of our lives will be impacted by Industry 4.0. New jobs will emerge and new capabilities will be called for — but exactly how that will look is anybody's guess.”
Mark Hutchinson, CEO General Electrics (GE) Europe
Mark Hutchinson is the president and Chief Executive Officer of GE Europe. He is responsible for directing the company's European activities. He is also in charge of integrating the Alstom Group, GE's biggest industrial acquisition, with 65,000 employees. Hutchinson originally hails from the UK, but did his Doctorate of Business at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
For the CEO of GE Europe, Mark Hutchinson, strategic collaborations — like the one between GE and Bosch — are especially relevant in the age of Industry 4.0. He calls Industry 4.0 a revolution in which Europe can take a leading role.