*I40 — Industry 4.0
Suddenly, everything changed! We didn’t expect to be hit by something that was happening miles away so fast. But then it happened and everything we deemed as normal wasn’t normal anymore. The dynamics of work changed, meetings, going to school, studying, going to the mall, the market and the cinema. That has all changed in a blink of an eye. We now have non-pharmacological barriers, which basically means we’re restricted to social interaction. The very attribute that differentiates us from other species. Human interaction and relationships have stopped being normal, instead they are seen as a threat, a problem, a pandemic. Something like a massive plot twist from an apocalyptic movie.
And then, everything that we treated as convenience, superfluous, those nerdy things and the guys who like technology, the millenniums, use technology for everything. Yes, that became of interest to everyone. Those who denied and refused technology like it were something from a different world are forced to face the music and deal with their new reality. The so called digital world is apparent and this is the new norm (social media, internet banking and internet of things). How do we survive in this world?
Now, within this new normal where we are “invited” to stay indoors, everything has become more accessible from the touch of our fingertips. Everything converges on our mobile devices, from there we can access the world. We can streaming, use virtual reality and interact with virtual assistants such as Alexa
i.e. AI: “Alexia, how’s the bag?… Bag not, Alexa, plays classical music (to calm down!), schedule an event with so-and-so, call Ciclano…”.
We stay connected to the world’s news sites through the internet, we go to the bank through the apps, we move everything, using the delivery apps, today I saw a video on YouTube, a drone, taking a puppy for a walk on the streets, and the owner, controlling it from the comfort of their balcony.
People continue to live together through social media and collaborative networks. Employees of companies are united by meeting virtually and not at a single address. They have also started to work on these virtual platforms in several places. In short, with over thirty years of professional life, we have never had a transformative experience like the one we are experiencing now in order to live our new “normal”.
We have never had the opportunity to see so clearly the meaning of the term MUVUCA (Meaningful, Universal, Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) applied in practice as well as in the propagation phenomenon of COVID-19.
Never in times of peace have we had such a clear, unique purpose for humanity, which is to fight a virus, to universalize and globalize a problem like this has never been felt so emphatically as now, with all efforts to avoid the spread of the disease, the world opened up volatility and uncertainties, economic with financial markets melting, supply chains paralyzed, and being pulverized by conspiracy theories, and the complexity and ambiguity of human nature has never been more evident in the discussions about the seriousness of the problem. If I underestimate or overestimate the problem, it’s not a football crowd, it’s serious! When in doubt, overestimate! To take care of you and yours!
Always, in lectures, debates, presentations, we have the opportunity to say that all the industrial revolutions that humanity went through were responses from society itself to meet the specific demands that we, human beings, were creating, within the different contexts by which we passed.
In the agricultural age, where the land was the main element of longing, we were divided between aristocrats and commoners, we had the first industrial revolution with the application of steam to replace animals, in the industrial age we had the division between the proletariat and the capitalist world, with the definition of social classes, we had the second and third industrial revolution, going from the use of electricity and assembly lines, totally manual at the beginning, to its complete automation, which evolved in the 80’s and 90’s.
And now, in the age of information and knowledge, where the human and the digital compete for their position, and mass customization has become the name of the game, I40 brought the reality of the fourth industrial revolution to give the answers we need in the context in which consumption is determined by the relationship we have with digital transformation, thus defining the MUVUCA world we live in.
With the pandemic we are experiencing, we are sure that certain elements that make the implantation of the I40 feasible start to play an important role as leverage to reduce the time to find solutions and to help us mitigate the harmful effects that this situation is bringing to the community. Humanity, as shown in the infographic below, which we will explore below.
- Big data and data analytics have a fundamental role to analyze and anticipate emerging diseases and help in their contention and extent of contagion.
- The consolidation of e-commerce and Fintechs will be important to help the economy continue to move, the circulation of goods and for the financial market to continue to function, even with the conditions of restriction that are being imposed.
- Privacy and data security will be enhanced in this situation in which the reliability of information and its handling becomes more essential to have in order to have a realistic view of the situation we are facing.
- Large agglomerations and events being replaced by social and digital versions instead of the traditional formats we are used to.
- Increasingly active AI, feeding the analysis of data and information so that we can be more agile, preventive and predictive in treatments.
- Collaborative networks and P2P (peer to peer), increasingly supportive on co-creation platforms, making flexible and scaling the demands of remote work.
- Distancing and social preservation are increasingly made possible by autonomous service systems and the automation of repetitive activities that do not add value.
- User-interface (UI) and augmented reality helping to enhance the inclusion, collaboration and learning process of organizations and work structures.
- Coverage through the use of drones from potentially risky regions but that need effective, fast and direct intervention, reducing the risk in areas where human contact should be avoided.
- Mobility and cloud-computing provide and democratize the rapid and effective implementation of the technological solutions achieved.
As we say, I40 will make companies smarter and with the analysis of their data they can increasingly anticipate problems and predict in due time, what predictive actions they need to take, in their decision-making process as a whole, and enhance its ability to deliver results.
Technology helps to generate data and transform it into information, and information becomes knowledge, which helps to optimize business, but in this case, technology does help save lives and acts as a resource key that enables the achievement of goals, until recently, unimaginable.
On the other hand, we know that all innovation only makes sense if it can be useful and do something that helps people, created by people, for people, but many lessons remain from this process, reaffirming the learnings, and asking whether to build a hospital in ten days is innovation, or if it’s the new normal, it won’t be as strange maybe, as it might sound now.
Along with innovations, there are technological waves and with them economic cycles, which will increasingly be short, fast and disruptive, like technology, giving us the certainty that we are not experiencing the crisis, but the crisis of the time, just waiting for the next one, but that this scenario is part of a context that becomes part of the normal “new”, and this consequently causes us to leave the comfort zone, changing the way we relate and behave, in function of the need for adaptation, since as Darwin said “… they are not the strongest who survive, but those who adapt most quickly…”
I40 brings desired, expected behavior and it is determined by the need for us to focus our efforts and solutions on flexibility, agility, collaboration, cooperation and co-creation with the open innovation platforms that are increasingly present in our ecosystem… when we go through these aspects the impression it gives us is that we must then be something very similar to what startups are, and then we highlight a mistake that we make frequently, we don’t have to turn into startups, this is not possible in my opinion, but yes, we must learn to work as and with them.
Only in this way can we create disruptive solutions and understand that building a hospital in 10 days should not be seen as an exception, but as the new normal, the wrong thing is to take years, and for that, a regulated environment in the sense that we enable the conditions to learn, testing, experimenting, it is essential, because when we face what we are facing now for example, we will already be taken by a way of thinking more consistent with the reality of the days in which we live.
In conclusion, we are sure of one thing, we will not leave this situation in which we find ourselves now, just as we did, and as we are on call optimists, we are sure that we will come out much better, more evolved, especially as human beings.
We will understand that the black swan comes to propose changes and disruption and this is exactly the world we live in, in addition to recovering, living and consolidating many human values, which we have been leaving behind over the years, questioning whether our relationship with work, with capital, with our family, is the best we can have, and understanding that technology is part of our achievements, helps us and is a response to our own needs, that we are in front of creation and that it is essential to go through this 2020 that already occupies a special place in human history.
I40 is our ally, it will give us the necessary condition so that we can do what we were naturally created to do: be human! It is enough that we believe and work hard in this direction.