Why is General Electric starting an app store?
Re/code mentioned at the end of September that GE will be launching its own App Store, Predix.io. No dating apps or Angry Birds clones here:
These apps won’t look like the consumer apps you’re likely used to, of course, but they’ll offer ways for those in industries tied to manufacturing to better learn from the machinery they use every day. At launch, the store is expected to have close to 5,000 apps, but Immelt expects that number to jump to 500,000 by 2020.
500,000 apps is a pretty respectable number. By contrast, the iOS App Store has about 1.5 million apps right now. And the revenue opportunities are big. Gartner predicts overall app store revenue to grow to about $75 billion by 2017, and enterprise apps will make up a significant proportion of that. GE joins Apple and IBM, and many others, in developing them.
The development of these apps means a completely new field for mobile engagement solutions. But what if your customers are your employees? A well-executed app is suddenly a way for you to monitor and improve their performance and happiness at work, every day. Many hospital systems have tens, or even hundreds of thousands, of employees. What if you could send all your nurses updates on the latest standards of care, but target a different message to your cardiologists? Or integrate between your app and learning management solution to make sure required training is completed?
Or take it a step further, as Apple does:
IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps are designed to learn how a person uses them and what type of information is most useful… and those insights are recorded back into the systems of record and the cycle continues — enabling users with more intelligent information and incredible insights at the time of engagement.
The app enables an unprecedented level of personalization and engagement. GE’s app store will allow businesses to join that deep level of engagement directly with their business objectives. And GE’s app store is probably the first of many.