Deloitte finds executives optimistic about Industry 4.0, but lacking confidence in their organizations’ influence and preparedness

– DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Senior business executives and government agency leaders from around the world lack confidence in their organizations’ readiness to influence and harness the opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), according to a research report by Deloitte Global entitled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Here—Are You Ready?”

Industry 4.0 is characterized by the marriage of physical and digital technologies, such as analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and the internet of things (IoT). Deloitte Global surveyed 1,600 C-level executives across 19 countries and conducted select in-person interviews to explore their readiness to leverage Industry 4.0 to benefit customers, employees, communities and other key stakeholders.

“The rapidly advancing technologies driving Industry 4.0 are bringing about social and economic change rapidly in an environment of unparalleled global connectivity and demographic change,” said Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO. “It’s a time of great opportunity, but also risk. We developed this research to better understand how executives are navigating the pervasive shift and to uncover areas where they can more effectively influence how the Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts their organizations and society.”

The questions focused on four major topics: social impact, strategy, talent/workforce, and technology. The survey results indicate that while executives conceptually understand the changes Industry 4.0 will bring, they are less certain how they should act to benefit from those changes. In each of the four areas of impact, the survey uncovered some degree of contradiction:

Social Impact:

Optimism versus ownership – While executives see a more stable future with less inequality, they are less confident about the roles they or their organizations can play in influencing society in an Industry 4.0 era.

Strategy:

Static versus dynamic – Executives acknowledge they may not be ready to harness the changes associated with Industry 4.0, but these reservations have not compelled them to alter their strategies.

Talent/Workforce:

Evolution versus revolution – Executives are not confident they have the right talent to be successful in Industry 4.0. However, they feel they are doing all they can to build the right workforce, despite talent ranking low on their list of priorities.

Technology:

Challenged versus prepared – Executives understand they need to invest in technology to drive new business models. However, they have a hard time making the business case to fully address Industry 4.0 opportunities because of a lack of internal strategic alignment and short-term focus.

The research revealed that, overall, executives around the world are in the early stages of readying their organizations to harness the full potential of Industry 4.0. They will need to seize opportunities to strengthen key connections that will benefit their clients, their people, their organizations, their communities and society more broadly:

“I believe those who take a broad view will be the ones to succeed in this new era,” noted Renjen. “They will see connections between business and social needs; between financial outcomes and innovative strategies; between workforce productivity and people’s sense of stability and well-being; between integrating existing technologies and creating completely new solutions.”

For more information and to view the full research results, read the report here.

Methodology

Forbes Insights, in conjunction with Deloitte Global, conducted a global survey of 1,603 CXOs to better understand their perspectives on Industry 4.0. All respondents were from organizations with annual revenue greater than US$1 billion, with average revenue of US$7.4 billion. The CXOs lead organizations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents represent 10 industries, with no industry constituting more than 12 percent of the total sample. The survey was conducted in August 2017.

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more.

Deloitte is a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services. Our network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories serves four out of five Fortune Global 500R companies. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 264,000 people make an impact that matters at www.deloitte.com.

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