THOUGHTS

A CIO’s Guide to Industry 4.0 – The Future of Manufacturing

Feb 11, 2020

Industry 4.0 is the next phase of digitalization in the manufacturing sector that is driven by factors including the proliferation of data volumes, growth of connectivity and computational power, and key advancements in manufacturing innovations. Although they are still in the early stages of development, smart factories and industry 4.0 have already begun transforming manufacturing.

By embracing industry 4.0, manufacturers can gain much more than just extending their digital reach and or selling new varieties of products and services. Industrial automation can increase productivity and performance and also bring down the overall production costs. Another major benefit of industry 4.0 is that it will greatly promote globalization through worldwide supply chains and sensor networks. Developing the right digital capabilities for becoming a manufacturing 4.0 organization requires a strategic step-by-step approach. This article outlines the key steps critical to success.

Industry 4.0

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Evaluate existing capabilities with expectations

CIOs must begin by evaluating their existing technological capabilities and compare them with the digital maturity that they expect to achieve. Prioritize measures that directly align with the organization’s overall strategy and will most likely create better business value. It is also vital to communicate and get a commitment for the measures that are chosen for not just the top leadership but also ensure that it is evident to people across the organization who are integral to the execution.

Begin with pilot projects

Pilot projects can be used to demonstrate proof of concept and demonstrate the business gains that can be derived from the industry 4.0 strategy. Early success in the pilot projects can also help gain buy-in from the organization and secure adequate funds for the final roll-out. Collaborate with digital leaders outside the company to create pragmatic designs for the industry 4.0 concept, this is can significantly accelerate digital innovation.

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Map capabilities required to achieve desired goals

The flaws in the pilots for industry 4.0 transformation will help CIOs identify the capabilities that the organization lacks in achieving the desired results. Create a blueprint highlighting the technology enablers that will help propel the business processes forward. The success of an industry 4.0 transformation will largely depend on the company’s ability to deploy appropriate skills and knowledge.

Embrace digital capabilities

A company can encounter several roadblocks in its journey to embrace digital transformation. Data is critical to make the right business decisions and adopt feasible strategies. Combine data from different verticals of business including logistics, QC, and engineering functions, and use this to analyze new methods to attract customers. Advanced technologies such as real-time analytics can be used to attract customers and fully capture the potential of industry 4.0.  Actively understanding customer behavior and orchestrating a distinct role for your organization within complex ecosystems will be the greatest breakthrough to successfully adopting industry 4.0 capabilities.

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