McKinsey & Company has just published an interview with Jeff Immelt, CEO at GE. Of course, GE is known as an innovative manufacturing company through its 123 year history and numerous management iterations. However, becoming a digital information management company is not what we would expect.
In the digital age, every business is in the digital information management business. A single jet engine generates a terabyte of data on a flight from New York to Chicago. Information about speed, weather, altitude and machine wear and tear from one GE engine on a mid-range flight must be collected, managed, analyzed and assessed as well as preserved. Manufacturing a jet engine is no longer enough. GE must function as digital company and that radically changes its hiring, training, orientation and integration of a new breed of GE employee.
Maybe a "mom and pop" grocery store can avoid becoming a digital company, but even that's doubtful for very long.
Lawyers, are you ready to transform your law firms and legal departments into digital companies? If not, you may lapse into obscurity sooner than that retirement you so hope arrives before radical change becomes mandatory.
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