One of the most fascinating things about digital transformation is that it moves instantly—and slowly—all at the same time. The trends we see on the horizon for Industry 4.0 in 2020 are much the same as trends that we’ve seen growing … revolutionizing … over the last few years. The difference isn’t so much in the technology, it’s in the number of companies beginning to utilize it, and the reasons why.
Case in point: the Internet of Things. Technologists, myself included, have been talking about the massive IoT benefit for manufacturing, literally, for years. Heading into the 2020s, however, it’s not just the technologists that are spouting the benefits. It’s the manufacturing companies themselves recognizing the massive impact of connecting one’s work and processes to the IoT. It’s also the increasingly demanding consumers who want higher quality goods, often with responsible manufacturing practice, right now this very moment. If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that manufacturers will be facing increasing pressures in cost, efficiency and quality in the coming decade. And they’re finding that new tech adoption—be it IoT, 5G, AI, enterprise resource planning, or VR/AR training—is the only way to survive.