The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a coming together of every industrial advance we’ve had so far – from the invention of machinery and steam engines to electricity-fuelled production to the evolution of computerization.
We are now all about automation, data and digitalization, and integrating computerization into production operations. Businesses must adjust to meet modern business requirements.
Here is some insight into what is needed for businesses to transform successfully, and what we’re doing at Siemens to ensure we’re well-prepared.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a coming together of all the things that have happened in past revolutions.
It’s the hyper-connectivity of every industrial advance we’ve had so far – from the invention of machinery and steam engines to electricity-fuelled production to the evolution of computerization.
We are now all about automation, data and digitalization. Businesses must adjust to this new way of working and digitalize to meet modern business requirements. Administrative roles stand to be most affected by the change as companies move ahead in line with the digital age.
Here is some insight into what is needed for businesses to transform successfully.
Assess where you are right now so you can move towards where you need to be
Many companies are simply not ready for the fourth industrial revolution. Some are still stuck in the second or only just beginning to move into the third.
To transform as needed for the current climate, they have to first understand exactly where they are right now. Then they can prioritize what projects need to be executed first, in terms of automation, optimization and digitalization. For example, if a company doesn’t have any technology at all, like robotics, they would have to put that in place before moving on to computerization.
The right leadership will successfully drive this new way of working
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about hyper-connectivity. Leaders must be process-oriented: look at the process to start with, not at the result. When we look at the process, we know which parts we need to improve.
Leaders also need to consider the larger-scale issues for the business. They must be of the mindset to reach out eagerly to other departments to collaborate and find solutions. They can’t stay trapped in their own departments.
I believe that democratic leadership works best in a company undergoing these changes because such leaders consider everyone’s opinion. Ideas and problem-solving methods can come from anyone. Democratic leaders tend to dive deep into even the lowest rank of worker, and in doing so, find solutions from a variety of sources.
The type of technologies that all companies should be integrating
As I’ve said, the Fourth Industrial Revolution relies on connectivity and structural recession. So, any specific technology that is linked to big data or connectivity – artificial intelligence, cloud database, virtual reality, A.I., and robotic IOT – should be considered.
You can start from the basics, like creating a central database, or a digital platform that helps with day to day work. You can also use the internet, or possibly add some form of robotics for administrative processes.
However, although there are many technologies available, you don’t need to rush in and incur enormous costs by implementing a lot of them. Select the ones that will make the most impact on your business to start with. Siemens has several factories around the world, but we are limiting the number of technologies we employ. We are currently planning to implement one giant platform that will give all the factories united KPIs and tracking forms.
Siemens is prepared
At Siemens, we are well-prepared for the shift to digitalized operations.
I work in our process excellence department. Every quarter we have a ‘best practice’ sharing event, showcasing the best inventions from each factory, particularly with automation and digitalization. By doing this, we learn from each other and can then turn these inventions into global best practices for every factory.
As an example, Singapore might contribute an idea for reducing work for submitting invoices, and then all of our factories will implement it. Here in Jakarta, we are currently contributing to creating a digital factory and eventually, all company premises will be using it.
From simple technology that everyone can learn to use to more sophisticated programs Siemens is fully equipped with applications that are ready for the digital revolution. Each year, these platforms dynamically change to become better, faster, and simpler to operate. As such, we simply never run out of the ideas about how to utilize all things digital!
The latest technological revolution is all about integrating technology and computerization into production operations. Organizations need to adapt to this because if they don’t, they will almost certainly be left behind.