While many enterprise leaders are well aware of the benefits and potential of Industry 4.0, they may struggle with rolling out their company’s digital transformation. The larger an organization, the more challenging it can be to get started. Below we identify the most common barriers, and we explain how manufacturers can move forward.
Industry 4.0 revolutionizes the manufacturing ecosystem, bringing greater agility through improved data analyses and digitized processes, not to mention far less production waste. However, there are some obstacles along the way:
Most initial deployments of Industry 4.0 will likely be used to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. The next wave of manufacturing calls for defining business value, which is pivotal to forging new revenue streams and customer experiences. A digital-first strategy takes value generation into account. Impacts on the business cannot be pushed to the background where they go unmeasured (as reported in connection to World Economic Forum, 2019). Flexibility means leaping from waterfall development to agile methodologies.
Organizations that lag in cultivating a digital culture risk stumbling into Industry 4.0 tremendously unprepared. Today’s enterprises can be slow-moving, but smart manufacturing calls for constant change. Businesses should create programs that regularly upskill and train employees. Organizations need to envision how they will make their mark in an ecosystem of ongoing innovation, according to the Hfs Blueprint Guide to Industry 4.0 Services.
With a lack of business and IT leadership dedicated to Industry 4.0 and IoT, formal responsibility for digital transformation rarely exists. Diffused accountability is limiting traction and scaling, delaying the time to capture the value at stake. Moving the ball forward requires building cross-functional leadership teams (e.g. Manufacturing Process, IT/Plant Networking, Controls, Digital, Business and Program Management.
High-paced change makes it tough for many organizations to set aside time for concentrated thinking and experimentation, resulting in “digital distraction.” Initiatives are not aligned with the business strategy and/or applied to areas of maximum value generation. On top of that, there is a tendency to select tools and solutions that are not reliable or architecturally scalable.
Many people in enterprises adhere to traditional IT structures, approaches and methodologies. Additionally, manufacturers grapple with data management. The volume and variability of data – combined with hybrid vendor environments, data security and the convergence of OT and IT solutions— can seem overwhelming. For example, 6 out of 10 IT executives say that collecting, storing, integrating and analyzing real-time data from endpoint devices is a principal barrier to a successful IoT implementation.