We are on the precipice of a Fourth Industrial Revolution that has and will change the way humans work, live, and interact with each other and with technology. While the true scope of this sweeping revolution is not yet known, one thing is certain: Life as we know it is about to change.
In order, the Revolutions humanity has seen have been Steam power, Electrical power, then Computing. Finally, we have electronics and automation, which have fully changed civilization. This Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR, is building exponentially on the previous iterations.
Our current digital revolution is characterized by a joining of the biological, physical, and digital worlds. And it is happening at an exponential pace and is disrupting every industry all over the world.
Billions of people are connected by mobile devices with unprecedented processing power. With access to unlimited knowledge, technology breakthroughs are emerging in all technological fields. There are new developments in AI and robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, nanotech, biotech, materials science, and edge computing seemingly every day.
Future Industry Opportunities and Trends
As with each of the revolutions that preceded it, 4IR has the potential to improve the quality of life and raise income levels for populations around the world. Technological growth will also lead to a supply boom, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. Communication and transport costs will be significantly reduced and global supply chains will become more efficient. This shift means that the cost of trade will diminish, opening new markets and driving growth.
New patterns of consumer behavior, built upon mobile data, compel companies to adapt the way they market and deliver goods and services. Consumers are also changing customers’ expectations. With technology offering a more personalized experience every day, businesses will need to keep up by delivering a customer experience that’s different from their competitors.
These easily accessed smartphone apps and platforms allow people, assets, and data to join in one place, creating entirely new ways of consuming goods and services in the process.
Secondly, they lower the barriers for both businesses and individuals to create wealth, altering professional and home environments of workers. From laundry to shopping, chores to parking, businesses are rapidly multiplying into every corner of the personal and business market.
This massive shift from simple digitization to innovation based on combinations of technologies is forcing companies to reexamine their business practices and methodology.
Fourth Industrial Revolution and You
Humanity has the opportunity to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution in a way that it reflects our objectives and values. Businesses play a crucial role in the future of 4IR; they must ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are met, not just those of shareholders.
Leaders in business need to carefully guide the future by putting people first and giving them the power to drive change in the markets. If successful, The Fourth Industrial Revolution can lift human-kind into a new collective based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent upon us to ensure the future for all of humanity.