Editor’s Note: Achieving and sustaining an injury-free workplace demands strong leadership. In this monthly column, experts from global consulting firm DEKRA Insight share their point of view on what leaders need to know to guide their organizations to safety excellence.
At an industrial conference in 2014, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt summed up the current state of business this way: “If you went to bed last night as an industrial company, you’re going to wake up today as a software and analytics company.”
While most of us are not literally going into the software business, Immelt’s point is well taken. The consensus among industry leaders and analysts today is that networked technology – from personal wearable devices and mobile phones to equipment sensors and “smart” machines – is rapidly changing the nature of our organizations and how we run them.
Sensors that monitor sensitive equipment and people are not new. What is new is our ability to connect those data sources and create completely new streams of information in real time. Often referred to as the “Internet of Things,” the ability of “things to talk to things” introduces the potential for new insight and action across a range of performance areas, including safety. This shift also introduces new risks, as leaders must determine how to responsibly and effectively use this new information.
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