When it comes to buzzwords, this one breaks all the box-office records.
Even if you’re not familiar with the Industry 4.0 label, what it encompasses likely weighs heavily on your mind and is hopefully gaining traction in your enterprise. Suffice it to say, the business world is afire – or some may say under assault – as multiple i4.0 subplots converge and collide: mobility, analytics, cloud computing, automation, artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things, to name a few of the stars.
It’s like an adventure movie through “cyber-physical systems” that never stops unfolding.
You’re probably familiar with preludes such as the Industrial Revolution, when water and steam mechanized production. Electric power debuted next. The Digital Revolution, which has already riveted everyone for years, is segueing into an i4.0 blockbuster you can’t help but see emerging everywhere you look. And it’s just beginning, although it’s a lot easier said than done.
How will it end?
Most enterprise leaders struggle with everything that’s happening because all the “studios” producing the software, devices and ingenuity to make i4.0 breakthroughs possible didn’t exactly write a fool-proof script to make them work together. Nor would you expect them all to conspire behind the scenes and share trade secrets and innovations with a unifying purpose. That’s pure fantasy, of course.
Your company’s i4.0 success depends on an unprecedented level of vision and methodology.
I suggest a short intermission. Forget the hype and clichés. Catch your breath. This perpetual-motion picture won’t be ending in our lifetimes.
One of the most intriguing plot twists centers on the HR function. In a sense, this shouldn’t be a surprise that the area concentrating on your people serves as the main story line. They are the audience, and your success in this i4.0-manic society depends on your management and staff making better, faster decisions while getting more efficient access to reliable information.
Turn up the lights
Before going on with the show, it’s time to seriously assess where you’re at – and if you have an overarching i4.0 strategy in place. Keep in mind that the systems you deploy, whether ascending in the cloud or traveling on the road, will have profound HR implications. In fact, the narrative should literally emanate from your people to the customers you serve and partners that help set the stage.
Mobility has shifted into high gear, from choice to imperative. Legacy solutions likely ran their course long before you could think about altering them. Security challenges have grown epically in scale. Sophisticated analytics enable deep meaningful dives into data previously shuttered in darkness. Factors like these will make or break your business, and past revolutions should fuel your i4.0 motivation.
Being left behind in the wake of i4.0 advances will have disastrous consequences. Customers will ultimately head for the exits if you can’t keep up with fast-evolving related demands.
Although it’s not as simple as flipping a switch, you should consider all that i4.0 entails to illuminate comprehensive strategic direction. It also wouldn’t hurt to have at your side the guidance and perspective of a multi-industry expert in cross-border human capital management solutions. HCM should be a fundamental platform for your company’s i4.0 future.
For most anyone at the helm of a large or midsize company, i4.0 looks more like a daunting cliffhanger than a sure bet. In a way, it’s planning for the unexpected by establishing a cost-effective long-term means of dealing with the innovations of today as well as tomorrow.
Most critics agree that outsourced HR solutions are a big part of the answer. Among many reasons is the commensurate ability for your company to focus more sharply on core competencies, with internal HR resources devoted to the most strategic aspects of people, processes and productivity development. You naturally want all these elements to harmonize as i4.0 accelerates in your environment as well as in the competitive landscape.
We welcome the opportunity to have a lead role in the i4.0 undertaking with you. After nearly 20 years specializing in outsourced HR and payroll solutions, Zalaris’ experience and partnerships can put your i4.0 future on an ideal course. We’ll help you separate the facts from fiction – and deliver on budget as well as on time.
Give us a call, and we’ll come audition for you!
Ingrīda Štālberga is the Country Manager for Baltics at Zalaris. She is in charge of local service deliveries in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as nearshore organization across all Scandinavian countries. She joined the company in 2008.