Forget oil, gas or rare-earth elements. In coming years data is set to become the world’s most valuable resource. Advances in technology, from robotics to artificial intelligence, are transforming industries across the world.
Industry 4.0 is the next phase in digitalization. It is driven by a sharp rise in data volumes, computational power and connectivity, the emergence of analytics and business-intelligence capabilities, new forms of human-machine interaction and improvements in transferring digital instructions to the physical world, such as advanced robotics and 3D printing, according to consulting company McKinsey.
Emerging digital technologies from big data analytics to automation have the potential to reduce costs, enhance productivity and better manage variability in heavy industries across the world. The cost of such devices and storage is plummeting as economies of scale kick in.
For example, the rapid pace of digitalization is transforming the component-driven automotive sector into one more focused on software and services. Cars are more connected than ever, and self-driving vehicles are almost upon us, but it’s in the factories and supply chain that digital innovation has already made a difference.