Building Your Digital Enterprise

Aug 20, 2018

Tips on making the most of Industry 4.0

In a blog post, PwC Chief Technologist Chris Curran said that you can’t leave emerging technology to chance or luck, but that this was a trap many companies fell into due to resource constraints, competing priorities, and different views to how technology can lift a business. He offered five practices a business leader could use to start preparing for the Industrial Revolution.

  1. Rethink the way you experiment. Make sure that you evaluate technology through a business lens. This will allow you to experiment with technology that can differentiate your company, with the aim of expanding capability so that you can do things your competitors won’t be able to do.
  2. Engage with your emerging technology ecosystem. Identify the organizations and startups that are working with and researching the tech relevant to your industry, products, customers and markets. Establish working relationships where suitable, and keep an eye on all of them. For example, you could think about partnering up with a university or other suitable educational institution.
  3. Build your own learning lab. If your enterprise is getting to a certain size, you should certainly start thinking about having an innovation team to get business value from ideas – perhaps through the creation of demos and prototypes. You can share whatever you create internally, or with selected partners and customers.
  4. Develop a maker’s mindset. Curran said that enterprises should develop thinking which allows them to draw connections across technology and solve real-world problems. He says that ‘makers’ are willing to try, test and fail, get their hands dirty, and share and build on other people’s discoveries.
  5. Established a process to scale emerging technology. Curran believes that regular enterprise working processes, such as building a business case and planning projects with the financial benefits in mind, won’t work for tech-driven innovation. He suggests processes with shorter stages that includes advancing ideas, developing prototypes, market testing, and scaling.

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