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Enhancing the economy through the fourth Industrial Revolution

How will the fourth industrial revolution benefit businesses and how do we make sure we have the skills we need to maximise opportunities? That was the topic of a packed session at this week’s Venturefest East event. We heard about the smart automation and comprehensive sets of analytics which are now being rolled out in some sectors, but the need to up-skill workers to allow for automation of many manual tasks was a theme across all the presentations.

Andrew Strong (Head of Industrial Innovation at Cambridge Consultants) reminds us how new technologies have always improved yield, resulting in larger profits for manufacturing companies. He cited statistics showing that the revenue of businesses taking on the new technologies has increased by an average of 2.9% and their costs have been reduced by an average of 3.6%.

Meanwhile, Caroline Gorski (Head of IoT and Digital Manufacturing at Digital Catapult) turned her focus to the issue of where employees fit into these new trends. She tells us that although there is a potential for job loss if automation takes over many of the processes within an industry, there is the option of up-skilling the current workforce to be able to take on new roles that have better pay and higher skill requirement.

So, what can businesses learn from this session? The aforementioned speakers, as well as Abhi Naha (COO of Cambridge Wireless, who led the session) and Andrew Cowey (Head of Digitalisation at Siemens), encourage us to seek out new technologies and be ahead of the curve. At the same time, speakers urged those considering implementation to consider whether the investment will pay off for them. ‘Technology for technology’s sake’ was something to avoid. Therefore, preparation for incoming trends in industries is vital to ensure that businesses get the best out of them.

How will the fourth industrial revolution benefit businesses and how do we make sure we have the skills we need to maximise opportunities? That was the topic of a packed session at this week’s Venturefest East event. We heard about the smart automation and comprehensive sets of analytics which are now being rolled out in some sectors, but the need to up-skill workers to allow for automation of many manual tasks was a theme across all the presentations.

Andrew Strong (Head of Industrial Innovation at Cambridge Consultants) reminds us how new technologies have always improved yield, resulting in larger profits for manufacturing companies. He cited statistics showing that the revenue of businesses taking on the new technologies has increased by an average of 2.9% and their costs have been reduced by an average of 3.6%.

Meanwhile, Caroline Gorski (Head of IoT and Digital Manufacturing at Digital Catapult) turned her focus to the issue of where employees fit into these new trends. She tells us that although there is a potential for job loss if automation takes over many of the processes within an industry, there is the option of up-skilling the current workforce to be able to take on new roles that have better pay and higher skill requirement.

So, what can businesses learn from this session? The aforementioned speakers, as well as Abhi Naha (COO of Cambridge Wireless, who led the session) and Andrew Cowey (Head of Digitalisation at Siemens), encourage us to seek out new technologies and be ahead of the curve. At the same time, speakers urged those considering implementation to consider whether the investment will pay off for them. ‘Technology for technology’s sake’ was something to avoid. Therefore, preparation for incoming trends in industries is vital to ensure that businesses get the best out of them.

By

Scott Whittell – New Anglia LEP