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Fourth Industrial Revolution-Unlocking The Potential Of Digital Transformation

Industry 4.0 by Srini P on December 9, 2018

Small and medium manufacturing companies have always explored the possibilities of finding unique and innovative ways to be competitive and build their market share. Robotics, digital transformation, real-time analytics, automation, and predictive maintenance are some of the keys to success in this ever-evolving age of manufacturing. Enter Industry 4.0.

According to Wikipedia, Industry 4.0 is a name for the present trends of data exchange and automation in manufacturing technologies. It includes cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and Cognitive Computing. Raghu Bala, the CEO of NetObjex, had once remarked that whether or not an organization becomes a world-class manufacturing facility or redundant depends to a great extent on how the organization embraces the concepts and technologies of Industry 4.0.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) undoubtedly expands the countless possibilities of digital transformation like never before. In a recent report, "The Industry 4.0 paradox: Overcoming disconnects on the path to digital transformation," by Deloitte, it was revealed that a big majority of organizations worldwide are planning to invest heavily in digital transformation. However, their efforts are likely to be threatened by operational and strategic paradoxes.

The Deloitte Global survey involved more than 350 executives in the power, oil & gas, manufacturing, and mining industries. This survey explored how organizations in these sectors of the global industry are planning to invest or investing in digital transformation. The Deloitte Global survey also emphasized on the critical challenges faced by their organizations in making such investments. It was also focused on how they are formulating their organizational and technical strategies around the ever-evolving concept of digital transformation.

It was revealed by the survey that there is no doubt that organizations today are highly enthusiastic and receptive about the unmatched potential of digital transformation when it comes to impacting their business. However, the survey also revealed several disconnects between the plans and actions of organizations in four critical areas:

  • Supply chain transformation
  • Strategy
  • Talent readiness
  • Drivers for investments

The Supply Chain Paradox

During the survey, the supply chain was identified by the executives as the topmost area for investment in the future. Surprisingly, only 34 percent of the survey respondents view the supply chain as an innovation driver. If that was not all, only 22 percent of Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) played the all-important role in decision-making associated with digital transformation.

Organizations must elevate the role of CSCOs and give a thought to aligning their supply chain function within broader strategic goals and objectives.

The Strategy Paradox

It was indicated by nearly 94 percent respondents that despite the fact that digital transformation is an organizational imperative, 50 percent of CEOs and 68 percent of all respondents view it as an avenue for profitability. A complete shame, right? These findings also indicate that though respondents to the survey may link operational improvements with strategic growth, they don't generally link digital transformation and revenue growth that is a result of research & development driven innovative business models or products. A big majority of respondents perceive the overall concept of digital transformation as rather a "defensive" investment for protection instead of growing their organization.

Initiating small and then moving on to expanding beyond defensive spending do have the potential of unlocking innovative and highly-profitable organizational capabilities to guide an organization on the path towards financial prosperity.

The Talent Paradox

The survey disclosed that respondents are generally of the view that they have the right talent for supporting digital transformation. Surprisingly, only 15 percent of the survey respondents indicated that they need to significantly alter the skill sets and composition.

Identifying, training, and retaining the right talent were the most widely-cited cultural and organizational hurdles. Interestingly, it was demonstrated by the survey results that the more transformative technologies are used by the respondents, the more they are likely to be satisfied with the current state of talent of the organization.

Organizations should stay ahead of requirements associated with talent and give a serious thought to upfront investments in talent development. Furthermore, they must involve employees in the processes of digital integration and transformation.

The Innovation Paradox

The Deloitte Global survey revealed that executives report that the initiatives around digital transformation are hugely and primarily driven by operational and productivity improvement objectives - that it, making use of the available technology for completing existing tasks in a more efficient way. However, it is critical for organizations to expand the investment drivers.

This is simply due to the fact that an improved desire for innovation results in positive ROIs. This is increasingly critical as organizations face the task of being left hand behind by competitors embracing innovation as the primary investment driver.

The Answers Lie Within

Organizations, as they seek digital transformation, have to evaluate a wide range of questions -- from what they want to transform to which advanced technologies are the most effective and suited. Quite honestly, it is also extremely critical to remember that the concept of digital transformation just cannot occur in a vacuum.

In other words, an organization just cannot expect to simply implement new technologies and allowing them to run. Instead, true digital transformation is central to every modern-day organization -- from a brick-and-mortar store to a multinational corporation --- and it touches upon every aspect of the organization.

Digital transformation cannot be ever a one-size-fits-all approach. Today, organizations are looking out for a much-required balance and synergy between unleashing the transformative abilities facilitated by Industry 4.0 and improving current operations. However, it is very important for organizational leaders to realize and remember that digital transformation should be smoothly and efficiently baked into the strategic outlook and operational framework of an organization. This is the best and only way to successfully and effectively align investment and planning with action.

No wonder, industry leaders are of the view that the organizations that embrace Industry 4.0 will be able to thoroughly embrace the transformative potential of technologies at all levels of the organization.

About NetObjex

NetObjex is a leading global provider of state-of-the-art solutions and technologies that are powered by the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain. Please see https://www.netobjex.com/about-us to learn more.

We at NetObjex have made the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) simpler and accessible for you. Find out how you can leverage our seamless and reliable Industry 4.0 technologies, functionalities, platforms, and processes to stay ahead of the competition. Learn how NetObjex is making an impact that matters at https://www.netobjex.com/.

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