When it comes to operating a business, regardless of what sector it happens to be in, it is essential to ensure that it operates efficiently, effectively, and productively.

And, through the constant development and evolution of Industry 4.0 technologies, more and more businesses are capable of enhancing their levels of operation.

The fourth industrial revolution

Industrial revolutions have happened before, and the result has always been the same. New technologies have emerged, new ways of working have become the norm, and business operations have become far more efficient.

Over the last hundred years or so we have, as a species, become increasingly reliant on technology and advanced equipment. Be it a car, an iPhone or a laptop, the vast majority of us would struggle to get through an average day without embracing recent technological advancements.

But, of course, such developments are not only beneficial for the individual; they can also help businesses to run with increased levels of efficiency. And this is central to the idea of Industry 4.0 technology.

Industry 4.0 is all about giving companies of all types and sizes the ability to work more efficiently by enabling machinery and equipment to ‘talk’. It ensures a constant stream of information throughout the entire production line, meaning that production levels can be enhanced, waste can be reduced, and ‘manual’ tasks can be performed by advanced, automated equipment.

And this is where, for some, issues begin to arise. But are these concerns justified?

The jobs conundrum

Of course, there is always one ‘issue’ that rears its ugly head time and again whenever Industry 4.0 is mentioned: loss of jobs. People are fearful that advanced technologies will replace menial, manual tasks, leaving them jobless.

And to some extent this is true. Automated technologies are very often designed to stop people from doing manual tasks that are repetitive and dangerous, but this should not be seen as negative. Rather, it should be seen as an opportunity to take on roles and tasks that require greater levels of critical thinking and innovation.

The fourth industrial revolution is ongoing, and it is going to require constant evolution and change. Companies will need to enhance how they operate, but they will also need to ensure that employees understand their role in the production process. Employees are going to be more valuable going forward – not less – but job roles are set to change, and the tasks they need to carry out will alter.

Industry 4.0 is coming, and it is going to be the future of business.

Photo: Fanuc Robot 2 by Kitmondo.com licensed under Creative Commons 4.0