General Electric sees digital revenue tripling to $15 billion by 2020

The General Electric logo is seen in a Sears store in Schaumburg, Illinois, September 8, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

(Reuters) - General Electric Co GE.N expects its software revenue to roughly triple to $15 billion by 2020 as it reaps significant gains from its digital operations, the U.S. industrial conglomerate said on Tuesday.

The company released its projection at its annual Minds and Machines conference in San Francisco, which spotlights its digital technology capabilities.

Under Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt, GE has sought to use software to generate efficiency and productivity gains tied to its power turbines, jet engines and other industrial products.

Industrial productivity broadly has slowed in the past five years, Immelt told the conference, which was also broadcast over the Internet.

“The opportunity for industrial companies is to grab this next age of productivity,” Immelt said. “We have to turn connectivity into insights, and insights into outcomes.”

GE expects its portfolio of software-related products to yield more than $5 billion in revenue this year, swelling to more than $15 billion by 2020. The company posted about $150 billion in revenue last year.

Chief Digital Officer Bill Ruh said the added revenue would come largely from industrial applications as well as sales of GE’s cloud-based operating system, known as Predix.

“It’s a very ambitious goal, but with that said, the market opportunity is large as well,” Ruh said in an interview.

In one example of its latest offerings, GE on Tuesday announced Digital Power Plant, a software suite designed to help utilities save money through increased reliability, reduced maintenance costs and other means.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Diane Craft