Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and precision medicine, could create more jobs than predicted, depending on how enterprises respect the moral responsibility and economic imperative to take proactive approaches to invest in retraining and continuing educating their employees, (World Economic Forum, Sept. 17, 2018.)
The adoption of cyber-physical systems is the smart technology we are implementing in our factories and workplaces, as well as in our lifestyle. It is impacting society, disciplines, industries and economies.
Due to the velocity, range and system impact ever seen before, Industry 4.0 is considered a disrupting technology, both because the enormous potential and the possible risks it might have. It is at the same time a promise and a potential threat.
But what matters the most, is that decision-maker mindsets are too often absorbed by immediate concerns to think strategically about the constraints of disruptive and innovative technologies affecting our future.
What are the promises of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Indeed, one of the most significant promises of the Industrial 4.0 Revolution is to improve the quality of life for the world population and raise income levels. Other goals are a connected world, new products and services developed to take advantages, such as efficiencies and conveniences provided by those smart technologies.
Our workplaces and organisations are becoming "smarter" and more efficient as machines, and humans start to work together, by using connected devices to enhance our supply chains and warehouses. It might even help us to better prepare for natural disasters.
Potential constraints of the Industry 4.0, who is responsible?
Our governments and business leaders must be prepared to cope with the most potential technology that Industry 4.0 brings, in a way that benefits both industries and society. However, business executives have a more significant influence than governments and other social groups. But even now, they are not ready to change old practices, as they continue to focus on traditional and short-term business operation over long-term strategies to create value.
The segregation in the job market based on the low-skilled, and consequently low-paid workers, instead of responding to their moral responsibility of reeducating and training their workforce to scale them to a corresponding position within their organisations.
Does your industry have the right working force for this revolution?
The World Economic Forum warned, that there’s a significant gap between the skills workers they currently have and those that may be required for future new roles. It estimates that more than half of employees at large companies would need significant retraining to take advantage of new opportunities created by digital technology, (Sept. 17, 2018)
Studies show that only 25% of leader think they have the right workforce and skills set needed. But then again talented acquisition still is a low priority for many industries. Investing in these disruptive technologies has to be at the top, looking forward to better support your company to create, deliver and gain value.
Some final comments: Technologies as Analytics and AI are closing the gap between the physical and digital worlds. However, executives still believe Industry 4.0 is a threat to their businesses, but not taking faster steps on these matters could result in competitors surpassing you.
It is for sure that some jobs will become obsolete, but to shorten the economic gaps of the unskilled workforce means your business success. You as a leader need to keep investing in those technologies and affording continuing education programs for your current workers. See this revolution as an opportunity, open your mind and visions, bridging social needs to your business needs to improve financial outcomes and workers’ productivity; with all these actions in place you are ready for the Industry 4.0 Revolution!
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