Most industry leaders recognise that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has the potential to dramatically lower their costs, by, for instance, enabling firms to monitor the function and health of their industrial equipment and predict when maintenance will be required.
However, while predictive maintenance and other IIoT-enabled cost savings have the potential to greatly add to a company’s bottom-line growth, research from Accenture suggests the Industrial Internet of Things holds out an even bigger promise for industrial firms: revenue creation.
“The Industrial Internet of Things is here today, helping to improve productivity and reduce costs,” explained Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture. “But its full economic potential will only be achieved if companies move beyond using digital technology to make efficiency gains alone and unlock the value of data to create new markets and revenue streams.”
Accenture predicts that the Industrial Internet of Things could add as much as $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030, but only if industrial firms (and their governments) take the necessary steps to put digital technologies at the heart of industry.
This process of digital transformation will necessarily transform the industrial workforce, as Accenture’s Paul Daugherty explains: “The Industrial Internet of Things will make every worker a knowledge worker, enabling machine operators and other workers to use data to achieve more with equipment than they can today.
“It’s not just about productivity but about being able to offer new value with the help of data delivered to workers in new ways. The Industrial Internet of Things will not only augment work, but result in more virtual and collaborative working environments, as well as create entirely new categories of jobs.”
While the integration of IIoT technologies into industrial business models will call for both upskilling of the current workforce and hiring for a range of newly created digital roles, it’s worth pointing out that Accenture’s research revealed that 87% of business leaders believe that the Industrial Internet of Things will be a net creator of jobs.
According to research, sponsored by Accenture Strategy and the Economist Intelligence Unit, most C-suite executives want to follow the trend rather than lead in the journey to the Industrial Internet. Waiting may be unwise as faster adopters will not only seize market share, but also create new markets.
Business executives understand that making the transformation would require new skills and management thinking. In order for workforces to be a conduit rather than a barrier to the productivity improvements promised by IIoT, action must be taken without delay in organisations of all shapes and sizes.
Organisational and cultural changes need to be managed while adapting workforce skills, roles and training. Addressing the workforce skills gap issue must be a top priority among any Board seeking to adopt IIoT into its business model to realise productivity and growth in the next decade.
Your digitally literate workforce
Preparing for a digital future is no easy task. The digital journey is a significant challenge and commitment for any organisation. Business leaders must build a talent strategy to drive this transformation starting with the identification of what digital capabilities are needed. Agility in processes and decision making are becoming hallmarks of successful digital transformations.
Miramar are working with organisations in the manufacturing and industrial sectors who are overhauling their traditional structure and shifting away from hierarchical, functional business models toward cross-functional networks of teams to become more agile, collaborative and customer-focused. There is becoming a need to recruit leaders capable of building teams that are comfortable with short delivery cycles and able to operate across silos and within cross-functional teams.
If your organisation is at the forefront of innovation in the industrial sector, then you should already be in the process of putting together a digitally literate executive team. Miramar can support you on this journey.
Our consultants and researchers reach globally to source the best executives for your industrial organisation. Contact Miramar today – we have offices in the UK, the USA and Asia.