The Fourth Industrial Revolution has been getting a lot of press. What does it really mean, and how will it affect us?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to create up to USD 3.7 trillion in value by 2025, according to the 2018 World Economic Forum/McKinsey & Company white paper. Contrary to some negative perceptions, countries and companies have an opportunity to counter and potentially reverse the slowdown in productivity by diffusing and adopting technology at scale.
The November/December 2018 issue of ISOfocus examines how government, businesses and societies will navigate the increasing integration of technologies into business and production processes. Among the experts interviewed are faculty, companies, small business leaders and standards professionals from around the world, in fields ranging from robots to industrial data to artificial intelligence.
“As in the first industrial revolution, when national economies and the organization of the global economy changed, we are undergoing the same transformation or revolution,” says Patrick Lamboley, Chair of technical committee ISO/TC 184, Automation systems and integration, and Senior Director of Standardization at Schneider Electric, when referring to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “And this revolution is not a long-term vision; it’s a reality, taking place now.”
The latest ISOfocus issue showcases some of the new opportunities for ISO standards by highlighting the industry sectors most likely to benefit. It gives examples of how some companies are already leveraging this growing market, taking advantage of the emergence of digital systems, networked communications, and large-scale data analysis. This edition of ISOfocus also considers the opportunities offered by standards not only as a way of providing a platform for performance, but, equally important, as a way of getting different systems to effectively communicate to drive efficiencies.
So how can we prepare? Organizations should look to ISO standards now, to fully embrace this revolution in the making – and it may arrive quicker than we think. As Christoph Winterhalter, CEO of DIN, the ISO member for Germany, writes in his introductory remark: “The consolidation of new concepts by means of standardization at an early stage of development is absolutely essential if they are to be rapidly implemented in industrial practice.” After all, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is bound to bring significant changes to the way we live, interact and do business… if it hasn’t done so already.
By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis