We’re in the middle of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Huge changes are taking place. In the way we work, live and communicate with each other. Technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence mix with the physical world.
What is the 4th Industrial Revolution? What does it mean for you and your organization?
Before the 4th Industrial Revolution, there were industrial revolutions ushered in by steam and hydropower, electricity and assembly lines and computerization. These revolutions have dramatically changed organizations and our lifestyles.
This revolution is a lot more intense. It influences all disciplines, industries and economies at a rapid pace. This prompted Professor Klaus Schwab to write in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution: “The changes are so profound, there has never been a time of greater promises or potential danger.”
Technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution
The 4th Industrial Revolution is driven by in particular:
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
Although AI is already used in our daily lives, as in our smartphones, it is also the basis for many other technological trends. Machine learning makes AI more intelligent as machine learning adds experience. Which makes it possible for machines to take over human tasks.
Internet of Things (IoT)
These are everyday objects that are connected to the Internet and to each other and exchange data among themselves. That data feeds algorithms so that those objects can then react, act and learn.
Since the dawn of the digital age, the amount of data has grown at a staggering rate. The big data is analyzed with intelligent algorithms that help machines to recognize patterns and relationships that we didn’t know before.
Cloud and edge computing
Cloud computing allows organizations to host their IT infrastructure in the cloud. This helps to reduce costs and makes scaling up and down much easier and cheaper. Edge computing makes it possible to get computing closer to the source of the data and away from the cloud to optimize systems in terms of performance.
Robots, cobots and RPA
Robots are expanding beyond factories in the world of the whole business community and even our homes. Collaborative robots, cobots, are designed to work with humans as colleagues. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a form of business process automation technology based on software robots (bots) or on artificial intelligence.
In traditional workflow automation tools, a software developer creates a list of actions to automate tasks and interfaces to the back-end system. With internal application programming interfaces (APIs) or special scripting language.
RPA systems, on the other hand, create that action list by watching the user perform that task in the GRAPHIC USER Interface (GUI). And automate those tasks by just repeating them.
To achieve the real-time data transfer of all our connected devices, we need a very fast mobile network. No matter where the devices are located. That’s exactly the purpose of the 5G network. And is the 6th driver of the 4th industrial revolution.
Digital transformation of organizations
At the heart of the 4th Industrial Revolution is the merging of the cyber and physical worlds. This creates challenges and opportunities.
We didn’t know Alexa and Siri ten years ago, nowadays personal assistants give it to us, play music via voice commands. They’re giving us directions that we need to get on our way to our next appointment and how to get there.
Technology makes supply chains much more efficient. Which opens up new markets and stimulates growth.
It has become quite a challenge to even slightly anticipate what is possible tomorrow. And yet organizations are asked to prepare for the unknown. While disruption is exciting and leads to innovation, it can also be unnerving.
The way companies interact with customers and customers’ expectations change. More transparency, personalization and product and service options are requested.
The 4th Industrial Revolution not only contributes to changes in customer expectations, but also leads to major shifts in business models. Just think of the global platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Uber, and the like.
It also has a huge impact on our skills.
Professional skills for the 4th Industrial Revolution
The transformation of organizations in this 4th Industrial Revolution will lose jobs. The work is partly taken over by machines. Extensive research has also been carried out on this, on balance more jobs will be created. But with a different character.
In addition, skills that will become important tomorrow will no longer be the ones of today. Think For example:
It’s not enough to collect data, fuel this revolution. Data must be converted to business value. Data-lettered individuals can use data analytics information and easily turn it into actionable insights.
Organizations will become flatter and flatter, because everyone can access the data more easily. This revolution therefore appeals to everyone’s leadership qualities. Because everyone with the data will lead a part of the organization. Close to the (internal) customer, the decisions are made.
Judgments and decisions
As data becomes more and more available to everyone, more and more people will be able to make decisions with that data. It’s good to be able to determine what data you need. And understanding how data influences those decisions is an essential competency.
There is already a huge amount of data available. Those who are able to determine which information is reliable and can evaluate that information objectively will have a big head start.
People are still more creative than machines. And it will remain so for the time being. Those who are creative enough to dream about a better future and new ways of thinking are very valuable to organizations.
Emotional intelligence (EQ)
This is the ability to be aware of and control your own emotions and the emotions of others. EQ is becoming more and more valuable. As a counterpart to the data.
There is no way to predict what our organizations and lives will look like at the end of the 4th Industrial Revolution. However, we know one thing: it will not look the same as today.
Want to know more?
If you want to know how your organization can work effectively with the huge amounts of data driven, please feel free to contact us.