Perspectives

Industry 4.0: Preparedness through societal, strategic, technological, and workforce dimensions

With Industry 4.0 re-shaping how the world lives and works, global leaders are facing the pressures of preparing their businesses and their workforces for this new era. Arising from this shift to Industry 4.0 are defined leadership traits that have been uncovered in Deloitte’s second annual Readiness Report, Leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Faces of progress, which offers insight into the characteristics that set apart the most effective leaders and successful organizations.

This year’s survey of more than 2,000 C-suite executives across 19 countries, found that executives genuinely want to improve the world and that they have a clearer grasp of the skills challenge ahead. However, organizational roadblocks appear to be limiting the development of effective Industry 4.0 strategies and they continue to shy away from bold technology investments that will drive innovation and disruption. In two critical areas – societal impact and talent development – CXO attitudes changed dramatically from 2017, indicating leaders are becoming more realistic about what it takes to succeed in Industry 4.0.

Again this year, Deloitte asked executives how they are enabling their organizations to succeed in the age of Industry 4.0 in four areas: positively affecting society, shaping business strategy, utilizing 4.0 technology, and managing talent and workforce needs. Among the findings:

  • Societal impact: Executives expressed a genuine commitment to improving the world.
  • Strategy: Executives are struggling to develop effective strategies in today’s rapidly changing markets.
  • Technology: Leaders continue to focus more on using advanced technologies to protect their positions than on making bold investments to drive disruption.
  • Talent: The skills challenge becomes clearer, but so do differences between executives and their millennial workforces.

While there is no one recipe for success in how to deal with rapid industrial transformation, it can be helpful to understand how certain leaders are approaching this ever-changing environment. Deloitte research explores the types of leaders that are taking effective action, where they are making the most progress, and what sets the most successful leaders apart. These leadership personas—the “Social Supers,” the “Data-driven Decisives,” the “Disruption Drivers,” and the “Talent Champions”— can serve as models for leaders globally as they tackle the challenges associated with the Industry 4.0 transformation.

For more information and to view the full research results, read the report here.

Get to know more about Industry 4.0: a global Deloitte survey, in collaboration with Forbes Insights and GE Digital, has identified five paradoxes of Industry 4.0 transformations, which are largely valid also for Switzerland.

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