The big talk of the 4th industrial revolution, what is this (4th industrial revolution) and, are we ready to harness the full potential of the 4th industrial revolution? Industry 4.0 signifies the fourth in a series of industrial revolutions, which are characterised by their ability to transform economies, jobs and even society itself through the introduction of new technologies and processes. As abound as industry 4.0 is but it is clear that it is making use of digital technologies such as analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies, 3D printing and IoT to generate opportunities for new products and services, better ways to serve customers, new types of jobs and wholly new business models.
The laws of economy, policies and regulations have not caught up in the digital era opening up rapid wealth to the tech savvy. Producers of intangible products are not affected by the laws and policies of economy affecting producers of tangible products, let’s look at a case of car manufacturing company call it bin and a software development company call it node .if it costs bin R2bn for research and development to come up with a working prototype of the car, it will cost them close to the same amount of money to duplicate that the cost of building factories, buying steel which on its own is affected by the price of commodities.
While in the case of node if it costs the same amount for research and development as bin it will cost close to nothing to duplicate 1million copies of their software it’s just the cost of distribution and server space. For intangible products whether it is software, processes or algorithms all the cost is upfront hence the rapid wealth they generate. Industry 4.0 is a treat to traditional business organisations if they don’t adapt an example being CSIR‘s project Aeroswift developing the words biggest 3D printer that can print metal and steel imagine car parts being printed.
Industry 4.0 promises to be fruitful for those going to tech business as it’s creating a great demand for tech savvy solutions. Technology as of now has changed the game technology providers earn more than the content providers a simple example is that of online music streaming, now imagine a reality where almost everything is about technology . Whether you are tech giant, start up or tech investor, there’s close to minimal chances of loss and great endless opportunity in cases where you did not go big as you would have hoped, or you are struggling; there’s always a big company, the Monopoly capitals of the tech world ready to buy your algorithm or software for them to customise it to their business needs.
South Africa seems to be ready as Stellenbosch is quickly becoming the Silicon Valley of South Africa and there is great support from the University of Stellenbosch and the launch lab. This should be motive for the rest of us to skill up and start turning our ideas into business that will be very much needed in the near future and it is a deniable opportunity to create wealth.