Two days ago, I have had the opportunity to come back to my origins as a professor due to the invitation to make a conference about the Industry 4.0 and the impact in the global pandemic. I must recognize that, I was a little nervous, long time out of the classroom activities and difficult times to say that a particular solution, or technologies could change the terrible situation that we are living today, but anyway, it was a great to come back to home.
During my preparation days before the conference, I just try to remember why I was thinking in my student days when a visitant expert comes to the university to explain to us about their projects, personal experiences and vision about the professions. I was always thinking what kind of questions I could make to figure out, what I should focus on after finished my degree. But this time I was in the opposite site, looking for these question to give my honest advise in order add value to my dear attenders, but never forgetting that every person will find his our way to bring value to the society and industry of the future.
Of course, I don’t want to focus in my presentation to the students, what can I add that you don’t already know. In my modest opinion, the most interesting part of the conference comes from the students’ questions. They are the professional of the future, the generation called to run this digital transformation process. So, let’s focus on the questions and meditate about of my answers.
Student: Based on your presentation, what will be the roles of the human beings if everything will be some day full automated?
Answer: This is an interesting question and hard to predict, but human race has been evolving from revolution to revolution. We have pushed ourselves to break our limits, so this is just one more example that we have the opportunity to live and where you as new professionals will have a leading role in the digital transformation era. In other words, do be afraid of the change, be prepared to be a key part of it.
Student: What do you think about the common phase that “are you working/studying in thing than will take off our jobs”?
Answer: You are right, this is one of the most common comments (sometime in joke terms) that you will receive, if you are traying to sell a digital transformation vision, even to your friends if they come from other sectors. But also, this is one of the most common mistakes, if you read about the basis of the digital transformation processes. No body want to replace you for a robot, at least this is not the main idea. Digitalization talks about transform, improve, upgrade and innovate not only the machine, products or factories, this is also coming for us, the human being. Of course, if you don’t want to change the way that you are doing today your work, you are out, but this is the same for all. For example, if a player doesn’t adopt new trends to be prepared for a competition, it will be also out of the leading positions, so the answer is, you only will be out if you give out yourself.
Student: what will be the change in the digital transformation roadmap after the pandemic, it will be still necessary?
Answer: Unfortunately, there is still to soon to measure the healthcare and economical damage due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but if we talk about the role of the digital transformation of the industry or Industry 4.0 principles, the answer is after the pandemic many companies, especially SME believed that this digitalization trends don’t need to be taken carry as a top priority, because, the most important thing was deliver on time and got more clients, this was in many cases a lineal model, where if you want to produce more you increase your workers or made an investment in new machinery, but during the lockdown time, only the factories with the capabilities to continue producing remotely and with 30-40% of their employees due to the distance regulations were able to continue running their businesses, so I believe that this was a hard and important lesson to learn for one of those where the digital transformation was just something their status quo.
Student: should we study digital transformation treads as part of my profession for the future?
Answer: I believe that this was an easy one, and the answer is Yes, with out doubt, even if you are far from the tech industry sooner or later the digitalization will be change your job, business and life, so it is better to be ready when your time comes.
In future posts, we will be continue writing about technology and business trends for enterprises. Furthermore, we recommend consulting the following literature to continue your digital transformation journey:
- Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success, MIT review
- The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives, by Simon & Schuster
- Artificial Intelligence: The Insights You Need, by Harvard Business Review
- The Year in Tech, 2021: The Insights You Need, by Harvard Business Review
- The Deep Learning Revolution, by MIT Press
- Competing in the Age of AI, by Harvard Review Press
The objective of this blog is to provide a personal vision of how digital transformation trends will be impacting in our daily activities, businesses and lifestyle.
Industry 4.0 and Smart-mobility expert, his research interest includes Industry 4.0, Smart-Maintenance, Process Optimization, Machine Learning, AI engineering and Cloud-based solutions.