Industrial Revolution 4.0, some say it’s close, but not a few who say it’s still far away because we’re not ready. However, one thing is certain, the industrial revolution 4.0 is a necessity and we must be ready to welcome it when it comes.
The fairy tales about industry 4.0 have long been circulating. From the robots replacing human workers, AI technology that can “drive” companies in decisions making like the boards, connected devices, to the 3D-printed organs. Yes, those promises are a sweet trap for consumers and companies.
For all the visions that seem to be still fictional, we cannot just leave technological developments on luck and opportunity. In order to welcome the arrival, the Indonesian government alone has made a roadmap for the implementation of Industry 4.0 or Making Indonesia 4.0 as the basis for Indonesia’s economic growth in the future.
Then, what about business people in various industries? What should they do to balance various needs in the companies and really be able to take advantage of new technologies that emerge?
Below are practices that business leaders can consider to be carried out based on the words of Chief Technologist PwC Chris Curran:
Rethinking the Approach to Experimentation
The pace of technological development is now unstoppable. Every day it feels like there are new technologies born and most companies must be actively involved in exploring the opportunities. But, have you ever stop for a moment to reconsider what drives you to take a choice?
Usually, an organization will prioritize one of the factors such as vendors inputs, technological advancements, or business considerations when it comes to experiments. However, the best way to go forward is to evaluate technology needs through a business lens. This can help you make choices when experimenting with technology that can differentiate your company in addition to expanding your ability to do things that others cannot do.
Engage With the Emerging Technology Ecosystem
Identify which organizations are doing research or maybe launch new technology startups that are most relevant to consumers, products, markets, and locations where your company is located. This should be done in order to engage further in the tech ecosystem so that your company is not left behind.
However, what needs to be underlined is the main goal that must be achieved, which is to collaborate in building a better ecosystem. Try to start working with some of the new organizations engaged in technology and keep an eye on the rest.
Another step that can be taken is to invest in a university that has a research lab in technology with a specialization in problem-solving that in line with your company. Focus that relationship on executive education, develop research experiments, and maybe recruit the best talent.
For information, several universities in Indonesia have also begun to have their own startup incubators. For example, UGM, AMIKOM, ITS, and ITB with their Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Institute.
Building Your Own Learning Lab
Form teams to harvest ideas from ecosystems, then developed it into prototypes and demos in the context of your own business can also be the right choice. Create a consequence-free zone for your small team in experimenting.
Continue to try new things, repeat it, until you can find a working prototype that can capture the potential of new technologies that emerge. After that, you can share these assets internally, with partners, to selected customers to bring that potential to life and explore new business opportunities.
Developing Mindset Like the “MAKERS”
“Makers” may still not be so familiar to Indonesian ears. Basically, they are innovators who are able to draw connections between different technologies to solve real-world problems in new ways. They are present in our midst from the emergence of digital fabrication and companies can learn one or two things from them.
They will to try, test, and fail – again and again. They don’t care if their hands are dirty. They just want to share and build discoveries and knowledge with each other. Large companies should be able to learn a lot from how the makers approach in solving real-world problems.
Making a New Process
The regular processes you usually do, such as building a business case and planning a project with real financial impact, may not function optimally in the face of new technology-driven innovations. Just look at how today’s technology startups work whose lives cannot be measured by traditional metrics anymore.
So, try to start designing a new process. For example, designing a separate process with smaller and shorter stages, including advancing ideas, developing prototypes, market testing, and scaling.
Cultivating the five practices above can help you better utilize the technology that is being developed at this time, as well as what will appear tomorrow. Especially when considering the industrial revolution 4.0 that has already walked to the doorstep.
[IMG Source: Jeferrb/Pixabay]