Industry 4.0 is here, and successful manufacturers are leveraging technologies such as the cloud, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things to connect people, processes, and data to enable smart manufacturing. Unfortunately, many are entering Industry 4.0 with technology systems and business processes better suited for a bygone era. Now is the time for manufacturers to take a realistic look at their current operations and determine if they have the right technology in place to activate the operational strategies required to achieve business success in Industry 4.0.

Manufacturers can begin assessing their Industry 4.0 readiness by focusing on four key operational areas: workforce, business processes, assets, and customer experience. Once they begin this assessment, manufacturers may find that productivity limits have been reached and will not improve unless new technologies are implemented. They may find they aren’t currently well equipped to take full advantage of new business models. They may uncover they don’t have the necessary connectivity to share and view data globally, internally and externally. They may also find they lack the mobile and remote working capabilities required by a new generation of workers, or the ability to meet the customization and personalization demands from customers.