The Fifth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 5.0, is a new phase of industrialisation, whereby humans work alongside advanced technologies and AI-powered robots to enhance processes within the workplace. Understandably, the past two years have seen many organisations implement tech-driven changes at a rapid pace, as services promising Industry 5.0 result in more effective performance and cost.
As society becomes more digital, embracing technology and effectively managing new processes is key to the success of almost every business. This is mainly due to the colossal shift in remote working, which began at the beginning of 2020, and resulted in most corporate offices shutting their doors until advised otherwise.
The transition is underway
Many are familiar with Industry 4.0, but the transition to 5.0 is very much underway, even if the fourth has not been widely developed yet. This is because society is adopting technological innovation at an unprecedented speed, resulting in organisations having to follow suit and adapt. To put it into perspective, mindsets are shifting so quickly, that huge company-wide transitions can happen within a year.
Looking back to just a few years ago, when technology was less prominent in society, transformations on this scale could have taken at least double the amount of time. Of course, the difference is that Industry 5.0 refers to a combination of advanced Industry 4.0 technologies, which creates a digital assistant for humans to easily connect. Currently, company-wide digital transformation initiatives are a key focus for a huge number of enterprises on a global scale and will continue to be going forward.
The powerful role of technology
As expected, organisations are using are a number of innovative technologies that embrace the fifth industrial revolution, and this will likely increase as society becomes more familiar with the concept of digitisation as a whole. An example of disruptive innovation can be seen with 5G, which is significantly contributing to the deployment of Industry 5.0. This is because better connectivity enhances the cooperation between humans and machines or, more specifically, AI-based robots.
Although it may seem like a buzzword to many, 5G gives organisations across a variety of sectors the opportunity to transform at a faster pace. Ultimately, decent connectivity is at the core of improving the digitalisation of any environment, and a strong connectivity infrastructure is essential to the performance and integration of diverse working environments. Additionally, today’s technically-driven world demands connectivity coverage to be broader and more reliable than ever before, all while remaining suitable for applications in a vast number of industries.
Another innovation that contributes to the industrial revolution is the cloud, as well as the data it can hold. This has completely transformed traditional processes. In fact, according to research from Tech Jury, 90% of enterprises around the world will be using multi-cloud by 2022, and the public cloud computing market will be worth $800bn by 2025.
Not only does the cloud significantly enhance flexibility and security within the workplace, but it also enables super-data storage capabilities, as well as an augmented presence of co-workers. This enables broad coverage with low latency, high speed, capacity, and security. Additionally, it ensures connectivity infrastructures and software-defined technologies can work as allies when it comes to successful networking, storage, and data centres.
Undoubtedly, the workplace has and will continue to evolve at a rapid speed, so it is certainly an exciting time for organisations. As a wider range of advanced technologies are utilised, it will be interesting to see how companies develop by reaping the benefits, and what else can be expected with the next industrial revolution.
Marina Ruggieri is currently full professor of Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Roma ‘Tor Vergata’. She is also Co-founder and Chair of the Steering Board of the interdisciplinary Centre for Teleinfrastructures (CTIF) at the University of Roma. The centre focuses on the use of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for vertical applications such as health, energy, cultural heritage, economics, law, by integrating terrestrial, air and space communications, computing, positioning and sensing.