What is Industry 4.0 and How to prepare for the Change?
Worried about robots taking your job? Here’s what you can do to survive Industry 4.0
Mankind has progressively transformed civilization over the course of time by not only relying on technical evolution but also by reinventing it. As new resources created new technical means, the advancement led to the current trend of automation also known as the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 which succeeds the agricultural, Industrial and information technology.
Industry 4.0 is the phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. It connects physical components with digital and enables better collaboration and access across departments, partners, vendors, product etc. It also allows business owners to better control and understand every aspect of their operation and allows them to leverage instant data to improve processes and increase growth and productivity.
Today, automation is present in modern businesses ranging from slight features in software applications to more obvious implementation like self-driving cars. Look carefully and you will realize how automation has already started to become an integral part of our daily lives. From programmable coffeemakers that set the time to when you want your coffee to start brewing, thermostat to set the perfect temperature upon your arrival at home to smart home hubs like echo inhabited by Amazon’s Alexa that enables you to control all your smart devices from one source.
With this new emerging wave, it is clearly evident that automation will have a major impact on the labour market. But the question arises- to what extent? Should you be worried about losing your job? What jobs will be in demand?
Under initiatives such as- “Make in India” and “Smart Cities Mission”, the transformative journey of manufacturing through Industry 4.0 has already begun in the country. This new trend of automation has led to the gradual adoption of robots and automation in sectors like automobiles, pharma, IT and ITES etc.
World Bank data predicted that the proportion of jobs threatened by automation in India is 69% year-on-year.
Automation will noticeably have an impact on the labour market. To keep up with this changing trend, employees and business owners alike will have to be more intuitive, regardless of organisation function, and also be more creative in the work they are doing.
What jobs are at the risk of automation?
Researchers at Oxford University did a study where they found 12 out of 700 occupations had a 99% chance of getting automated.
1.Data Entry Keyers
3.New Accounts Clerks
4.Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
6.Cargo and Freight Agents
7. Watch Repairers
11.Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers
All these jobs had a few things in common.
They shared a predictable pattern of repetitive activities, the kind which is possible to replicate through Machine Learning algorithms.
So you see it’s not the high-skill jobs that are threatened, but rather manual, routine tasks.
How to stay relevant in the fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0
Just like life on earth, the work world has been evolving for centuries. There’s the gradual slow change that is hardly noticeable until it reaches a certain threshold that we begin to notice the changes. And then once in a while, there’s a sudden change. Rapid and striking that demands adaptation. Industry 4.0 is one such sudden change.
With such development, it is certain is that the future workforce will need to align its skillset to keep pace.
Upgrade your skills
Upgrading your skills is one way to stay relevant and fool-proof your career despite the fast-changing world of work. The World Economic Forum report, ‘The Future of Jobs,’ reveals that by 2020, skill sets considered desirable today for most occupations will, in fact, comprise skills which are still not treated as important to the job at present.
The top 10 skills that cannot be replaced or performed by robots include:
1.Complex problem solving
5.Coordinating with others
7.Judgement and decision making
Be willing to learn new things
Stay updated with what’s going on in your industry and pay attention to what it might need in the future. Learning to use new technology can be the best way to enhance your relevancy for the new industry.
Be open to learning new things, in new ways.
Ways in which industry need workers to be adaptable include:
1. showing awareness of changes in the industry
2. adapting to new technologies and new ways of doing business
3. maintaining skill relevancy, upskilling and multi-skilling
4. responding to situations with flexibility and innovation
Budget to Upskill
With the advent of Industry 4.0, finding skilled employees could be a challenge for companies. This can be because most of the jobs that exist today didn’t exist 10 years ago. In order to stay on par with the evolving industry, you must be willing to budget time and money to take relevant courses, attend conferences and participate in webinars online and do whatever it takes to learn the new skills and technologies.
People who seek to improve their skills in ways that will help their employers should consider asking for assistance and other aids. Many progressive companies these days recognize the importance of upskilling their employees.
Having an appetite for learning will be more than an added advantage because technologies will become obsolete at a faster rate. Continuous professional development strategies will be required to easily adapt to the changes that technological advancement brings.
The most critical component of the transformational journey towards the adoption of industry 4.0 in India is going to be the talent pool. Talent scenario in Industry 4.0 landscape is in a transitional phase in the country. People with relevant domain skills are readily available in the market but they do not bring relevant data science or digital experience to the table.
“The definition of “skill” will increasingly denote a persons adaptability to work with or around automation”.
The digital wave is already here shaping and changing the world at a fast pace.
And while the world is still grasping these new developments, there is a state of uncertainty that is resulting in the fear of unknown.
Early adopters who grab this opportunity will be the ones defining the future and leading the way.