Industry 4.0

Over the last 10 years, our society has witnessed so many jaw-dropping achievements that it would take a Herculean task to count them. If it feels like the pace of technology is accelerating faster than it ever has in history, it actually is. In the words of Canada’s affable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”

The pace of change is increasing so much so that Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, has proposed that we are in the midst of yet another industrial revolution–  Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is distinct from past revolutions in three fundamental ways.

Huge Data Sets

More processing power means more data will be created than humans have ever seen. Industry 4.0 gives us the technology to manage and use this massive amount of data.

Limitless Connection

Everything from sensors in a bridge, to thermostats in a hotel room will be connected and produce data. Most of the data created will come from connected sensors and devices.

Artificial Intelligence

More data breeds more intelligence. Machine Learning and AI will give us answers to questions we don’t yet have, and it will power incredible analytics and insights for business.

While the concept of Industry 4.0 may have been first popularized by Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum is not the only leader to pick up on the trend. Managing consulting firms, technology companies, and the world’s biggest thought leaders all see the value of connected devices, artificial intelligence, and big data– and they know how valuable these tools will be. KPMG has an entire website dedicated to the concept, which describes Industry 4.0 as “IoT-driven technologies, augmented decision making and advanced automation.”

It took society 200 years to bridge the gap between steam and computer processors, but only 40 years have passed since the personal computer. As the pace of innovation increases, companies in construction, infrastructure and real estate must play closer attention to these trends. The question is not “Are we entering a new industrial revolution?”, but rather “How can I ensure I don’t miss out?”

Ellis Talton