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Industry 4.0: challenges and opportunities

15 September, 2019

This sounds simple but is not in itself the holy grail. Probably the most significant barrier is organisational culture and mindset. While innovation platforms can bring disparate data sources together, companies also need to bring people together to ensure the relevant functions are collaborating effectively as well. Industry 4.0 crosses organisational divides, such as those between product development, manufacturing and sales, or between operations and IT. That creates new challenges, not only around data governance, access and working methods, but also potential conflicts around ownership of activities and the very data itself.  

An Industry 4.0 implementation isn’t a one-off project, such as a new ERP system or production line. Instead, it is an entirely new approach to continuous evolution and business improvement. It is good to start small, with a clear focus and specific objectives. But once they start, and get the right people on board, most companies find that the act of connecting their assets and data in a single platform will unleash a cascade of ideas and innovation opportunities. Organisations that start that journey today will gain a head-start that competitors may struggle to close. 

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