The term Industry 4.0 was coined by the German Government in 2011 as part of a multi-year strategic plan to digitise industrial, manufacturing, supply chain and customer interactions.
Enhanced communication and the synthesis of machine and human-generated data will improve the interoperability of different systems and applications.
Improved visibility across the value chain will provide higher value context and unprecedented situational awareness.
Machine derived insights combined with making information more easily available and comprehensible will drive better business outcomes.
The business drivers propelling global industrials to adopt an Industry 4.0 strategy include:
Due to an aging workforce, increasing wage costs, lower productivity and competitive threats from emerging nations industrials need to find new ways to do more while consuming less.
Industrials face pressure from lean, agile, start-ups to protect and grow revenue by digitalising products and creating new service models.
To remain relevant, industrials need to retain ownership of their customer relationships as competitors look to use new data science tools to capture long-term service contracts and customer data.
Rapid changes in customer and market demand are forcing industrials to implement new ways of designing, developing, manufacturing and distributing their products.
The boundaries between B2B and B2C are disappearing creating cloud-centric ecosystems. Smarter products are fostering closer customer relationships and creating deeper insights. For industrials, these smarter products, and the data they produce, will unlock new opportunities for growth.
The use of open source software, built for the cloud, is accelerating the pace of innovation, reducing cost, and enabling unprecedented scale. By supporting open source projects, industrials can attract, retain and nurture talent and have access to new sources of innovation.