The past decade has seen a technological boom unlike any other. Artificial intelligence, automation of critical processes, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data are a few of the developments that have forever impacted industry and society. Indeed, the success of companies going forward will depend largely on their ability to incorporate these new developments into their business models.
Whenever you have a technological boom of this magnitude, you have to give it a name—hence, Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 has changed everything from the way manufacturers develop products to how retailers handle supply chain management. This wave of new technology isn’t just changing the United States—it’s impacting the entire world as we know it. Continue reading to learn some of the many ways Industry 4.0 is affecting everyday life.
If you’re not a tech geek, you might be asking yourself, “What is industry 4.0?” Industry 4.0 is what people in the tech and manufacturing industries call the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The First Industrial Revolution brought us the harnessing of steam for mechanical processes. The Second Industrial Revolution brought us electricity and electrical production machines, which made manual labor much easier. The Third Industrial Revolution brought us computers, the internet, the groundwork for robotics, and many of the technology we use today.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is one that tech geeks and scions of business had been prophesying about for ages. From the incarnation of the first computer system, there have been forecasts that someday, computers would run the world.
Even though we’re not living quite like the Jetsons, it’s safe to say that day that tech geeks and electronics engineers have been warning us about has come in the form of Industry 4.0. There has been a lot of fear-mongering about what new technology could do to job prospects for people. However, industry 4.0 has opened up many careers in technology for self-proclaimed geeks, and it’s also made manufacturing safer and more efficient than ever.
Internet of Things (IoT)
One of the greatest accomplishments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the development of the Internet of Things, otherwise known as IoT. The Internet of Things consists of any machine with internet connectivity. More specifically, IoT allows devices such as sensors, smartphones, automobiles, and smartwatches to communicate with each other and share data and functions.
Smart homes and smart factories are perfect examples of the Internet of Things at work. You would think that IoT would take jobs away from factory workers, but technology allows people to focus on different jobs in the automotive industry. With robots handling many of the menial tasks, workers are free to concentrate on other critical manufacturing tasks.
Big Data is all about the use of data analytics to spot trends and capitalize on them. There isn’t much new about data analytics, but data scientists have found new ways to mine for data and apply analysis.
Big data is so big that it now plays a major role in collegiate and professional athletics. There have been significant shifts in the way basketball and football teams play their respective games, and the shifts are because of data analytics. Coaching staffs use big data to develop metrics for performance, and they adjust their strategies to play to their strengths by using data analytics.
One of the greatest advancements that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought us is automation. With automation, companies can let their IT systems handle and delegate critical business processes.
One of the common ways companies use automation is in their marketing strategies. With so many companies relying on social media and email for their marketing, businesses automate many of their emails and social media posts. Automation is a great way to make sure your business practices remain consistent, and with machine learning algorithms, many computers can learn on the fly and automate changes.
Industry 4.0 has opened a world of possibilities to tech geeks, manufacturers, and everyday people. Can you imagine what the Fifth Industrial Revolution will look like?