GE has announced a US$1bn investment in software development to provide big data services to industrial clients.  The facility will be located at a new global software headquarters outside San Francisco and will house 400 newly-hired software developers.

GE has already a US$ 2.5bn software business and approximately 5,000 software engineers.  The existing software business is however largely in automation of industrial processes.   GE does have huge datasets in the engineering space, for example in jet engines.  Therefore the new capability could be seen as a means to extract more knowledge from its data assets recognizing the fact that the growing mass of data can no longer be managed by traditional database technology.

GE attempts to expand its software presence, it will bump up against competitors such as IBM, SAP and other companies whose dominance of the market for business IT systems gives them a strong platform to pitch new analytical products and services.  Source:  Financial Times

Outsell Inc. believes that big data services are an opportunity for information providers, and for some should even be a core competence. The GE announcement is instructive as a reminder that other industries will be adding the capability to deliver information products and services, and that the information industry is continuing to change.

Source:  Outsell Insight December 01, 2011