4IR is real, it's here and deserves your attention now if you truly want to benefit from what it can deliver.

This may seem a strong statement, but there is an increasing global recognition of the concepts and opportunities albeit under different names depending on where in the world you sit. A good example of this is Servitisation, where customer expectations are driving a transformation journey to develop the capabilities they need to provide services and solutions that supplement their traditional product offerings.

(Servitisation is a topic which we covered in a joint webinar with The Manufacturer on the 16th March 2017, click here to listen to the recording: http://learn.hitachiconsulting.com/Industry-4-0 )

Fueled by the need to improve productivity and create growth, the use of technology has become a more accessible and more affordable enabler than at any previous point in history. But 4IR is more than a new name; it is becoming the catalyst for creating new opportunities with tangible benefits through enabling new services and business models that deliver a true step change in operational performance.

So what's hold up, well, there are a few challenges that need to tackled;

  • 4IR will require investment in time and money. How do you move to 4IR without dramatically increasing OpEx or CapEx spend?
  • Digitalisation will dramatically change the work-force profile in manufacturing. How will you deal with the shortage of skills and the social impacts?
  • New business models may increase operational and financial risk. How can you make effective long-term decisions while maintaining short-term financial performance?

Any transformation programme will encounter similar challenges, but in conclusion, 4IR is real and requires immediate focus to remain competitive. My four takeaways are;

  • Many businesses are moving towards outcome led business models to improve their competitive positioning.
  • 4IR with IOT and Advanced Analytics can deliver new levels of performance and enables these new business operating models
  • Collaboration between end to end supply chain development, operations, IT and business leadership ensures aligned investments and governance.
  • A mindset shift is required to deploy end-to-end business processes enabled by technology inherent designed to support them.

Find out more at http://learn.hitachiconsulting.com/Industry-4-0