It is counterproductive to define Industry 4.0 through the technologies that make it possible, argues Robert Howe. It is much more useful to define it in terms of the practical benefit it delivers.
Attempting to use business cases to justify industrial digital transformation (Industry 4.0) was always a time consuming work of fiction. During the corona crisis there is no time for fiction. The fact is that industrial digitalisation breeds its own success. Therefore, business cases should be the consequence of industrial digitalisation and not a justification for it.
The strategic importance of digitalization, Industry 4.0, amongst executive and senior management in many industrial companies is undervalued and poorly understood. The compound gains to be had from digitalization will rapidly create a widening gap between the smart and the slow. There’s really only one way to address the challenge of digitalization: act now, act fast.