What IT Leaders Can Do to Prepare for Industry 4.0

In 5 years, more than 80% of companies are predicted to have digitized their value chain.

Industry 4.0 is perhaps the greatest marrying of the physical and virtual worlds of our time, and it has the potential to make a global impact in the immediate future. Though most experts are laser-focused on the innovation it could bring to the energy and manufacturing industries, all industries have the potential to positively impact their value chain when implementing Industry 4.0 practices. It’s expected to bring an abundance of innovation through technologies, such as advanced robotics, AI, sensors, cloud computing, and data capture and advanced analytics.

Last month, we talked about the basics of Industry 4.0–what it is, where it came from–and now, we want to dive into what it means for the future of IT and what IT leaders can do to be prepared.

As you may have gathered, Industry 4.0 will bring some serious changes, which will mean serious changes for those working in Information Technology. IT leaders and professionals will need to be prepared; after all, it will fall on their shoulders to be the educators and supporters in their organization.

So what can you do to keep up?

Work closely with your departments and partners. As Industry 4.0 practices and new technologies are implemented into your organization, maintain a close collaboration with enterprise departments and partners to ensure a seamless transition of any changing processes.

Start with a roadmap. Mapping the physical world to the virtual is not a simple task, but rather a journey. It is even harder if you don’t begin with a sound plan. Start by reviewing your business processes and how you want to couple the digital manufacturing operation with your company’s value chain. Because Industry 4.0 will change current business models, and thus your business processes, it is critical that these are reviewed with a clear idea about the direction of your future business objectives.

Maintain process visibility. IT leaders and managers will need to be able to manage and oversee the processes implemented for Industry 4.0. While you’re improving collaboration, streamlining processes, and offering support, it’s important that all processes are visible to allow you to better control their effectiveness.

Revamp your cyber security processes. Along with the many advantages it will bring to business and technology, Industry 4.0 will also open your organization up to new vulnerabilities. Make sure your organization has a cyber security protocol in place that is geared specifically for Industry 4.0.

Prepare to make data-driven decisions. Industry 4.0 is expected to provide organizations with more data than ever before. Before your organization implements Industry 4.0 into its processes, identify the data you might need, as well as how you might analyze it. The big data analytics gleaned from Industry 4.0 can be used to make big decisions in the future.

Understand that there will be challenges, and put processes in place for facing them. Just like anything else, Industry 4.0 has the potential to bring new innovations…and new challenges. Equipment could malfunction. Data could be lost. It happens. Just be prepared to have special processes in place that will be used to avoid and handle any challenges brought on by Industry 4.0.

Pick a small, realistic project with a viable ROI. Industry 4.0 will revolutionize industrial production, but getting there won’t be easy. At Logical Advantage, we believe starting with a smaller–and easy to identify–project helps build internal support and mitigates risk for the overall roadmap.

Keep security sophisticated. Just as technology is getting more sophisticated, your security systems must do the same. Many experts recommend switching to a cloud-hosted model, if you aren’t already.

Before we go, consider this: In 5 years, more than 80% of companies are predicted to have digitized their value chain.

Is your organization ready for it? Contact us today to learn more about our Industry 4.0 starter plan


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