Companies can respond to ever-increasing time and cost pressures as well as growing complexity by improving transparency, efficiency, and speed. Gains in these three areas are the result of a successful digital transformation. The changes encapsulated by Industry 4.0 are fundamental, meaning that companies must change at an equally fundamental level. This applies to everything from their strategy, orientation, and philosophy to the hardware and software solutions used and the overall value creation system.
Industry 4.0 calls for companies to have a truly agile supply chain that integrates IT systems both vertically and horizontally. By linking data and information structures from previously separate areas, such as the technical department and customer support, digital transformation can turn businesses into more integrated operations that produce smoother internal and external communications. Another aspect of the digital transformation is the Internet of Things, which allows individual devices to communicate with other devices and with people.
Using integrated sensors and data, these devices communicate information such as their current location or status to other areas and recipients, leading to much greater visibility and transparency on the whole. In an unprecedented way, Industry 4.0 allows companies to intelligently link, analyze, and use all the data that already exists and is constantly being produced – in real time. This is supported by the targeted use of cloud technology, which will make it simple in the future for critical teams to communicate more intensively with each other and to collaborate more effectively in areas such as procurement, transport, planning, and production.