Industry 4.0, Preparing Ourselves for Unseen Future!

We all have a question in mind, how would be the future world for us? Every day we are talking about invention, innovation, technological revolution, opportunities, threats but how do these factors are going to take control of our lives? Most importantly are we ready for the future world?

Let’s take look back to the past to understand the change factors ahead. The technological invention started 3.3 million years back from now. The purpose was to serve the Human. Following this trend, a lot of inventions have taken place. New inventions brought new scopes and took away old practices. If we want to be more specific, then we can see, with the arrival of bronze tools, stone tools workers lost their job and at the advent of iron tools, the bronze tools workers also became jobless during the time. We are going through the same situation now. The change process is faster now. With new technological advancement, our works are getting automated. The Robots are created by humans to serve us. Again, the robots are brought in the competition with humans now. It is such a complex situation if we just think in general sense. Also, with the invention of Radio Frequency Identification, computing and high-speed networking, we are already connected with the entire world. The computers are now more powerful and have Artificial Intelligence, which can recognize the face, compose music or understand spoken language.  So, once what we thought only humans can do now Computer is taking that place!

Let’s take a very common example from our daily life. Every day we travel to a lot of places with Buses and Cars. So driving is a profession for many peoples in the entire globe. With the advancement of technology soon we are going to find driver-less vehicles. It means the Drivers are losing their job. It is not the end here. The Computer is going be a threat for the professionals at the Hospital and in the restaurant as well. Till today, the doctors are operating on the patients or pathologist are taking tests and level of anaesthesia during the surgical procedure are decided by the special doctor. But time is near when the complex surgical procedure, CAT scan or even low-level anaesthesia will be decided by Computer.  The restaurant jobs will also take a shift. It is not far when a machine will take the job of chef and cook our favourite healthy recipe for us. Many of office job will not exist but the new scope will open.

Question is where we are heading?  

It is such a complex situation if we just think in general sense, then we will understand we need preparedness to face such challenges! In this dramatic situation, Globalization has sped up the entire process. We are now competing with our next class or local organizations but our country of birth is no longer our identity. We are already a Global Citizen where even the highly skilled humans are in risk and competition is with the entire world. In the past 20 years, Technological Invention and Globalization have already made peoples jobless in Manufacturing Industry worldwide. It is predicted that many industries will become irrelevant in the days ahead or worker will loss job due to automation or globalization. A report from Oxford says that in the next 20 years 47% of jobs will be replaced by Technology. However, 70 million people are at a risk to lose the job. This is because the transition would be difficult for many workers. Then the question comes how to survive from this situation? Is it going to in against of Humans? The big questions come in mind. To face the changing pattern and fit ourselves in the change process every time we need to develop skills. We need to learn new technology, new skills. We need to know the demand of the time and update us accordingly. Let’s focus on the preparedness that Organization or Individual must have to face the challenges of future times:

How the Organization should take preparation?

A very interesting report read a few days back. US Companies listed in the Fortune 500 exist only for 18 years on average now, which was previously 61 years!  The same happened in the UK too. But why this happened? The organizations which survived in the competition does have the relevance, brought innovation, considered the risk factors. Any kind of Industrial revolution brings risks of becoming irrelevance at a certain time. The organization must change as per the time demand, have the intelligence to see what are the changes coming ahead and now. So always have to bring innovation, change the strategy. If the organization fails to adopt changes, bring innovation and set strategy accordingly then its survival is at risk! Today’s strength may not be relevant in future. The organization must do SWOT Analysis at a certain time. And the leader must understand the dynamics and keep the change process rolling.

Preparation of Individual:

Many reports already predicted that due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the new economy, many peoples will lose the job! We are moving to a destination which is already unknown to us. It is already mentioned that the future time will bring some challenges, technology will drive the Humans, Urbanizations will speed up, and Industrialization will grow faster. The new changes will bring challenges before us. The success/survival from this situation will depend on what type of jobs we are doing now. It is true that the changing pattern will have an impact on the job market. On the other hand, many new opportunities will be created. It means jobs will be there but the pattern of the job may be different.  Many opportunities will be bloomed but the skills requirements will be different considering the pattern of jobs. The safer jobs will include those that are far less repetitive and much more creative. They include scientists, Technologist, healthcare providers, educators, gardeners, plumbers, and eldercare providers. We can’t even imagine the opportunities that a new economy is bringing for us. So today’s kids need to be trained considering future job skills. They must grow their Intelligence, should have the ability to do multitasking, develop skills, an expert in technology. We have to grow them for the time we have not seen yet. The Youth at the time must follow the Global Trends, Their learning must focus on Skills. Fluent in Technology. Then there will be no point to afraid on.

Concluding Remarks

It is obvious that the change process would not be as easy as we think of. But the preparedness should come from both the Individual and from Organizations level else success would be difficult. Because the concept of cheap labour will no longer exist globally. Most importantly the young generation must follow the Global Trends, their learning must focus on Skills. Fluent in Technology. Then there will be no point to afraid on.

K M Hasan Ripon

Author: K M Hasan Ripon

I have experience of working in small and large teams of different profiles: young people, students, adults, educators, volunteers, corporate leaders, marginalized rural men and women for entrepreneurship development, institutional managers, sometimes mixed into one group. In my professional network I am very much known as the enthusiastic and dynamic Trainers, speaker and inspirational career development coach on a wide variety of topics related to ICT, Entrepreneurship and employability Skills development training programs. During the last 17+ years I was engaged in Human Resource Research and Development in various professional organizations. As a consultant and TAFE, Australia Certified Master Trainer of Entrepreneurship Development & Competency-Based training, I have conducted many national and international Research-based works, training and workshops for national, NGO’s and multinational organizations and Institutions.

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