The fourth technological revolution is a reality. The thing is, it's not a reality that we're all contemplating. Not everyone is setting eyes on it, or worse, there are some people that do not understand what it is about. Whether or not we are aware of it, the proclivity to digitize everything is a fact. A few years ago, even months ago, it seemed like a dystopian science fiction theme, today it is an activity of common use. Indeed, automatization, Artificial Intelligence and other advanced technologies provide us with a quantity of unimaginable data that is transformed into information to work from and with it. The key question here is whether we are prepared to face this revolution.
It is of no use to us to know so much, to have such an amount of information, if we do not find an application for it. It is going to be of little use are a series of data that are there without being used. There it is, that's what these technological uproars that have very observable characteristics are all about. Usually, any kind of disruptive movement takes us by surprise. Natural events are difficult to predict, an earthquake, a tsunami, a flood; economic movements have variables that allow us to foresee and also social changes, but we are not always so attentive and we glimpse them since we have them in front of us. With technological changes, agility is a competition that we must cultivate to face progress and creativity to put ourselves in the game against technology.
The challenge before us is very important. The challenge must set us in motion and guides us towards the next phase which involves changing how we think, train and work using data, in order to create value from the findings obtained through advanced technologies. We are like miners who are going to dig up precious jewels. To get the treasure, we have to get ready. A recent survey by Deloitte Global sought to measure the readiness of businesses and governments for the fourth industrial revolution – or "Industry 4.0." The survey gathered 1,600 executives in 19 countries. What the firm found, was something wonderful: a description of the opportunities and challenges that respondents saw in creating new value in a changing world emerged.
According to Deloitte, the results are a description that conveys both hope and ambiguity. As with other industrial revolutions that Humandia has experienced, the shock caused by these changes had and has the potential to impact industries, businesses and communities, influencing the ways in which we do not live and relate to others. The best example is given with the ways in which we change our face-to-face activities and migrate to virtual platforms.
Indeed, this revolution is in a hurry, it carries an extraordinary speed, it is also very neat and lavish: it grows like mushrooms in times of rain. In the midst of so many changes, of social and demographic influences, we have to add unprecedented global connectivity – not only technological but economic. Therefore, being prepared should lead us to reflect on whether we are ready to take advantage of all the great opportunities that are coming and whether we are competent to face the enormous risks that lie ahead. Thus seen, it seems to us an ungovernable universe. In order to analyze it, it is advisable to segment it.
Deloitte proposes four main areas of impact:
- Social impact. In this dimension, it is necessary to appreciate the roles in which we participate to make the world a better place in the era of Industry 4.0 not only for their organizations, but for society as a whole. That is to say, it is not a question of creating digital networks without ton or are or of throwing ourselves cheerfully into the technological abyss, rather, it is a question of reflecting on the "for what?", and its consequences. He accepted that each and every organization has the power to influence, in multiple ways, the promise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to create a more equitable and stable world.
- Strategy. Then comes the subtle approach. It's about reflecting on the ways executives are using Industry 4.0's technologies to change their criteria, revolutionize decision-making and inform their business strategies to create value. In this area, we must ask ourselves whether we want to continue to build our competitive advantage as we have been doing and whether we are going to do it differently and what benefits the change brings. The holistic approach to strategic planning explores core capabilities that can be enhanced to develop new products and services, and create new value for a wider range.
- Talent and workforce. We have read it ad nauseam and never before has it become so obvious to us today: without people there is nothing. We require intelligence, creativity and hands to get to work. That is why we have to put the human being at the centre. It is necessary to prepare talent strategies and their workforces for change. Where will the talent come from? I'm sure it won't grow in pots. We can rely on the academy, on the universities that are forging our members of the work teams to address this revolution. This needs to become a priority to prepare team members to navigate the Industry 4.0 era by generating a culture of learning and collaboration, and creating training opportunities, both internal and external.
- Technology. Of course, the trigger for this revolution is technology. We are ready to see technological advances as a set of tools to improve the business as it is, we are taking advantage of the full potential of smart technologies to facilitate digital-physical integration, decision-making, and new business models or we are failing to see something that is at the tip of the nose. If the star element is technology, we must learn to use it to our advantage. I perceive technology as the most powerful differentiator in the world of Industry 4.0 is the first step, and invest in integrating new applications that can support new business models. It is not the only step. It is very important to understand that technology is not limited to only one part of the organization; it must be comprehensive and integrated through the organization to support and thrive.
The fourth enterprise technology revolution is here. It requires relativity and agility, looking outside the box, taking advantage of opportunities and facing risks. We must be prepared to come in on the right foot.