Article

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here

Are you ready?

About the Report

This research is based on a survey of 1,603 global executives represented 19 countries from the Americas, Asia and Europe, and came from all major industry sectors. In this report, we discuss a mix of hope and ambiguity coming along with Industry 4.0 and measure business and government readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution through four aspects: social impact, strategy, technology, talent and technology. We help organizations understand the opportunities and risks presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We also encourage firms to embrace all facets of Industry 4.0 and to harness the full potential of Industry 4.0 to benefit their clients, their people, their organizations, their communities and society more broadly.

 

Viewpoints / key findings

Industry 4.0 signifies the fourth in a series of industrial revolutions, while the change it portends as its core is the marriage of physical and digital technologies, which will allow for the creation of digital enterprises, and generate abundant opportunities for new products and new services, and also bring greater risks. Deloitte sought to measure business and government readiness for Industry 4.0 from the following four major areas:

  • Social impact. 87 percent of surveyed participants believe that Industry 4.0 will lead to more social and economic equality and stability, and see business as having the most influence on how Industry 4.0 will shape society. But many of them are lack of confidence in the further and less convinced about the role they or their organizations have to play in influencing society in an Industry 4.0 era.

    Chart: Which of the following issues will have the greatest impact on your organization over the next 5 years?
  • Strategy: static vs. dynamic. Industry 4.0 era need a broader, strategic view. Though many executives recognize the changes Industry 4.0 portends, they are not sure how to capitalize on the opportunities. In fact, just 14 percent of surveyed executives feel highly confident that their organizations are ready to fully harness the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0. However, this lack of readiness has not compelled them to alter their current strategies. One reason could be that many executives continue to focus on traditional business operations, suffering from the phenomenon known as "organizational inertia".
  • Talent and the workforce. Executives lack confidence that they have the right talent in place to be successful in Industry 4.0.Though they say they are doing all they can to build the right workforce, their responses show talent remains low on their list of priorities.
  • Technology. Executives already understand the profound change Industry 4.0 will bring to organization and the need to invest in the technology to drive new business models. However, a lack of internal alignment about which strategies to follow, lack of collaboration with external partners and a focus on the short-term will be the most common challenges their organizations faces when adopting new technologies.

Industry 4.0 represents the ways in which smart, connected technology becomes embedded within organizations, as well as people's daily lives. It can create nearly as much uncertainty as it does opportunity. Overall, executives around the world are in the early stages of readying their organizations to harness the full potential of Industry 4.0. It is clear that the old way of doing things isn’t enough anymore, organizations need to make full preparation and embrace all facets of Industry 4.0, so as to harness opportunities and strengthen key connections that will benefit their clients, their people, their organizations, their communities and society more broadly, and make the most impact.

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