Success personified in the Fourth Industrial Revolution | Deloitte Netherlands

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Success personified in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Our latest survey of Industry 4.0 readiness

Our latest survey identifies companies successfully implementing Industry 4.0 technologies, however many senior executives remain less prepared than they think they are. Read how leaders are navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Industry 4.0 readiness

Our new survey suggests many who think they are ready may still not be as prepared as they need to be. But the good news is leaders seem to be gaining a much deeper understanding of Industry 4.0, are increasingly aware of the challenges before them, and are viewing the actions needed to succeed more realistically.

The goal was to discover how leaders are taking effective action, where they are making the most progress, and what sets the most effective leaders apart. Among our findings:

  • Executives are struggling to develop effective strategies in today’s rapidly changing markets
  • Leaders continue to focus more on using advanced technologies to protect their positions rather than make bold investments to drive disruption.
  • The skills challenge becomes clearer, but so do differences between executives and their millennial workforces

Industry 4.0 readiness report

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Four types of leaders

The general ambiguity expressed in last year’s survey has subsided into a clearer, more tempered perspective in which leaders better recognize the many dimensions—and ensuing challenges—the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings. These include societal and ethical implications, the importance of clear vision and collaborative organizations, the tradeoffs of investing in technology for the short term rather than the long term, and addressing the talent gap. Yet, among these myriad issues, we see a subset of leaders forging a path forward. They include:

  1. Social Supers - A leader who makes business a force for good to drive sustainable change
  2. Data-Driven Decisives - A leader who methodically strategizes and uses data to capitalize on opportunities
  3. Disruption Drivers - A leader who invests in new technologies to disrupt industries and business models
  4. Talent Champions - A leader who actively trains employees to prepare for the future

Encouragingly, this research shows that these personas are contagious. While leaders may start on any one of these paths, they often embody a number of characteristics that might offer lessons for those still trying to define their approaches. These leaders share a commitment to doing good, with a clear vision of the path forward. They take a long-term view of technology investments and are leading with regard to workforce development. Finally, their organizations are growing faster (that is, more than 5 percent annually) than their counterparts’, and they’re more confident in their ability to lead their companies in the Industry 4.0 world.

While leaders with these characteristics stand apart, over the past year leaders generally seem to better recognize the many dimensions—and ensuing challenges—of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our hope is this clarity will now give rise to progress.

Personas for the 4th Industrial Revolution

About the full industry 4.0 readiness report

In this year’s survey — which covers more than 2,000 C-suite executives across 19 countries —  we aimed to discover how leaders are moving forward, where they are making the most progress, and what sets apart the most effective leaders. We found that some leaders are making better progress than others in dealing with today’s challenges within the four major areas of impact— society, strategy, technology, and talent. We have grouped the leaders who seem to be getting it right into personas: Social Supers, Data-Driven Decisives, Disruption Drivers, and Talent Champions.