November, 2018

INDUSTRY 4.0 AND ME!

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, yet most people still don’t know what it is and how it will affect them or change their personal and professional life.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, yet most people still don’t know what it is and how it will affect them, or change their personal and professional life. According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Future of Jobs report, more than 70% of all industries will be affected by this new technological wave. Companies will have to incorporate the internet of things, artificial intelligence and data mining into their ecosystems, employees will have to be retrained, and doing business will have to be reevaluated to address the new norm. The world around us is changing rapidly and what initiative we take individually and as a society will determine our future. As with any industrial revolution leadership is a driving force for changing labor dynamics in countries and directly impacts the economy and growth. This article explores how some key roles will transform in this new wave of change.

THE ENTREPRENEUR

With the advent of the internet of things, all devices are by definition connected to the cloud, opening up new avenues of access to data. Cloud services create a bridge between people and machines, through the collection of enormous amounts of data from “things”—sensors, machines, and devices—that is then stored on the cloud. Everything will be connected to everything, meaning there is tremendous opportunity for innovation; we must rethink everything with connectivity in mind. This poses a significant challenge for large companies that will have to adapt their products and services to meet the market’s new demands, and it will be a great opportunity for smaller companies and startups to penetrate the market with innovative solutions and services around Industry 4.0. Meanwhile, market specific products and services will allow technology to become more affordable, creating a more connected world. Starting up a company and reaching markets across the globe is no longer a privilege of the few. Previously, companies had to establish subdivisions and sophisticated reseller networks around the world. Today, any small company from anywhere in the word can start selling products globally through platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba. We can reap the benefits by understanding that everything around us that has defined the way we do things today was designed in an vastly different era.

THE EMPLOYEE

Conventional ways of looking at a job are changing. Remote working is becoming the norm and not the exception, making it possible to work for a company from anywhere in the world. With this comes the opening of doors to diversity, celebrating the bringing together of a workforce from different backgrounds, something that every company strives for in their hiring practices. Previously, the place where someone was born and prohibitive immigration laws posed a challenge to seeking out new The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, yet most people still don’t know what it is and how it will affect them or change their personal and professional life. opportunities. Today, we have the privilege to achieve our dream job and even a career from anywhere in the world.

THE INVESTOR

With an emergent need for new products and services to enter the market and replace outdated solutions, the opportunity for investment increases exponentially. Whereas traditionally, it cost millions and took years to develop new technologies, with the advent of the internet of things, the cost and time of development of new technologies is dropping vertically. The result is cash flow positive companies in as little as one year. From the point of view of the investor, this becomes a double-edged sword. As more and more companies are able to bootstrap resources rather than have to raise exorbitant capital, entrepreneurs now have the upper hand over investors. Companies now have the opportunity to begin operations in under a year, with minimal funds and without investors, yet investors cannot continue without opportunities to invest. This poses the question, what next for investors?

THE STUDENT

The current educational system is outdated, expensive and too far removed from industry’s needs, even in the most developed countries. Industry 4.0 will deregulate and democratize education, giving people, regardless of their location, access to the same knowledge and making them marketable anywhere in the world, so long as they have a computer and internet access. We are moving toward a customizable education, where students can learn at their own pace and based on their needs and interests, helping to reduce social and intellectual discrimination. Students today are more resourceful and have a higher intellect than ever before, and they are prepared to meet the challenges that our global community is facing and offer unique solutions.

THE WORLD AROUND US IS CHANGING RAPIDLY AND WHAT INITIATIVE WE TAKE INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A SOCIETY WILL DETERMINE OUR FUTURE

THE COUNTRY

There is no doubt that the global economy will change due to Industry 4.0, which is expected to generate over $30 trillion in the next decade. This allows countries not heavily industrialized and with no active role in Industry 3.0 to take a shot at this opportunity and to spark local economy and innovation. Technology becomes the new weapon to fight social issues and protect the sovereignty of a country. Investments to university incubators and accelerators, and government guaranteed loans to new entrepreneurs, will prevent brain drain and allow people to stay local and create great companies to serve the global community. We are moving to an economy of services where data is valuable and its monetization can have multiple derivatives. This will not only create more jobs than it will take away, but it will also create the need for technologically skilled workers. More than ever before there is a need for countries to get up to speed with technology or risk having a technologically illiterate labor force. Darwinism shows us that we are adaptable to change and to meet the challenges of our times. Every change comes with good and bad outcomes; however, this industrial revolution also creates an intellectual, societal, economic and cultural evolution that can result in a more connected world where distance and borders won’t matter as much, proving an overall push forward for humankind.

Vasileios Nasis

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