Fourth Industrial Revolution: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Compiling information for the first time from Industrial Products leaders across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Nick Davis shares highlights from Deloitte’s third annual survey, focusing on Industry 4.0 strategy, societal impact, talent and technology.

The business world is witnessing a powerful shift. In the past, the primary purpose of an organisation’s existence was to generate profits for its shareholders. Today, companies are being judged against a wider set of environmental, social and governance measures in addition to their financial performance. As well as exploring the plethora of opportunities that Industry 4.0 brings, leaders are starting to feel the weight of this responsibility.

Deloitte’s The Fourth Industrial Revolution: At the intersection of readiness and responsibility report seeks answers to questions such as, “how do leaders balance profit with purpose while transitioning their business to Industry 4.0?”, and “how do companies use advanced technologies to drive business forward while acting in more socially and environmentally responsible ways?”

This is the first time views from Industrial Products (IP) leaders from companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are being published. Data was collected during the second half of 2019.


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The four major trends and insights

When strategy leads, success follows: Twothirds of CXOs said their companies either have no formal Industry 4.0 strategy or are taking ad hoc approaches. Conversely, only 10% of CXOs said they have longer-range strategies to leverage new technologies that reach across their organisations.

Recognition of business’ social responsibility: There’s ample evidence most businesses are beginning to try to find a balance between profit and purpose, thanks largely to increased pressure from customers, employees and other stakeholders. Nearly all business leaders we surveyed fear that the effects of climate change could negatively affect their organisation, and half cite tackling climate change as their generation’s top priority.

Commitment to training and development: Organisations continue to struggle to ensure that their workforces possess the skills needed to succeed in an Industry 4.0 environment. Only one-fifth of executives completely agreed that their organisations are currently ready, and just 10% said they are making a great deal of progress identifying, attracting and retaining the right talent. More than 80% of respondents said they have either created, or are creating, a corporate culture of lifelong learning, with another 17% planning to do so.

A retreat from disruption: While Industry 4.0 technologies have the potential to disrupt and transform many different areas of business for the better, executives do not appear to be leveraging them as broadly across their organisations as they could. Only 17% of CXOs say making effective Industry 4.0 technology investments is a priority, ranking lowest among 12 investment priorities. And while leaders seem to understand the merits of taking a connected, integrated approach to implementing Industry 4.0 technologies, only 5% indicate significant progress in this area.

While COVID-19 has caused major disruption, many businesses achieved a step-change in their use of new digital technologies born out of necessity. Digitisation has had an impact far wider than just production: many companies are now getting better at managing supply volatility and predicting customer demand.

Contact Nick Davis, Deloitte UK’s Industry 4.0 Leader  nickdavis@deloitte.co.uk  tel: +44 (0) 20 7303 8653) to discuss lessons learnt from manufacturers who have implemented Smart Factories. You can also connect with Nick at the Smart Factory Expo on 9-12 November.

For more information on the report please see here.