What’s coming to Industry 4.0?

Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings, is represented by a double-faced head, one facing the past and the other facing the future. Taking inspiration from this, manufacturers looking to accelerate their digital transformation should consider the impact of the past. So, what technology should manufacturers be looking to adopt? Here, Johan Jonzon, co-founder and CMO of edge analytics provider Crosser, shares his insight on the digital technology to watch.

Raconteur predicts that by 2025, 463 exabytes of data will be produced globally each day. That’s a huge increase from 2020’s daily 2.5 exabytes. It’s clear that data is going to explode over the next few years, so organisations need to be ready to unlock its value and adopt a data-driven mindset. For a successful digital transformation, manufacturers must consider how to use this data for improved decision making, better productivity and growth. So, what’s coming next?

Living up to the hype

Hyperautomation was heralded as one of Gartner’s Tech Trends in 2021, but will it continue? In theory, the concept of hyperautomation sounds relatively simple to automate as many processes as possible across an organisation. However, in practice, reaching a hyperautomated state is a slow-burning challenge.

Contrary to traditional automation, which focuses on individual processes, hyperautomation looks holistically at an organisation as a whole. It involves eliminating data silos and integrating business systems. With robotic process automation (RPA) central to the process, hyperautomation also involves artificial intelligence (AI), process mining and streaming analytics. By integrating each of these technologies in unison, manufacturers are able to achieve end-to-end automation of their business for increased efficiency.

However, unlike some other digital transformation trends, hyperautomation is not something that can be implemented quickly. Connecting data from every system within a business, including the factory floor, IT systems, sales applications and supply chain management tools is challenging. Each of these systems may operate on different protocols, produce data in different formats, and generate values at different time intervals, which all needs to be unified.

Eliminating coding confusion

Low-code software has been around since the 1980s, but a combination of factors will lead to further, faster growth. It eliminates the need for vast coding knowledge within a business. Instead, it takes a visual approach and uses functions like ‘drag and drop’ to allow non-developers to visually create the process that they are trying to create without the for code.

Skills shortages have been a problem for most sectors globally for a few years now according to McKinsey, 87% of companies either already have a shortage of digital skills or are anticipating one in the next few years. On top of this, the pandemic placed unprecedented levels of pressure on already under capacity IT teams, who were tasked with facilitating a rapid shift to remote working and increasing automation on the factory floor to keep the workforce safe.

With this in mind, the demand for low-code enterprise software is likely to increase to alleviate this pressure. Low-code software, like Crosser’s Flow Studio, allows existing OT personnel to automate industrial processes themselves without any input required from software developers. With the pressure on IT sure to continue, it’s likely that we’ll see a growth in the low-code market to prevent the restriction of industry’s digital transformation.

Accessibility through APIs

Ensuring a seamless digital user experience (UX) is essential for manufacturers looking to upgrade to Industry 4.0. All more often, employees are expecting the same quality of UX at work as they are at home, presenting manufacturers with the challenge of competing with the UX of tech giants like Facebook and Amazon.

Simplicity and usability have presented a need for technology that can be built up quickly by members of an organisation outside of the department. We will see the rise of the business technologist employees who sit outside of IT but still create technology for commercial use.

With the need for UX that suits business technologists, manufacturers should expect to see a rise in the composable business model. Composable business models based on the idea that all business processes can be created using a set of interchangeable, modular building blocks.

Composable business is enabled through open and easy-to-use application programming interfaces (APIs) software intermediaries that allow applications to communicate. By combining the functionality APIs with interchangeable, modular building blocks common business processes can be implemented also by non-IT staff.

Using the philosophy of composable business and reusable APIs, 44% of organisations are developing plans to enable non-IT users to integrate data sources to gain actionable insights into their facility’s operations. With the acceleration of the digital transformations showing no signs of slowing down, adopting this technology will allow manufacturers to empower their IT teams and business technologists alike to streamline their operations using prebuilt APIs, for more efficient operations.

Johan Jonzon

For manufacturers looking to adopt any of these technologies, Crosser’s suite of low-code solutions can support your digital journey. The Crosser Platform allows the real-time analysis and automation of any data source, while Crosser IPA industrial process automation is a hyperautomation essential, allowing non-developers to design intelligent workflows and integrate siloed systems across all business functions.

The unpredictability of the last couple of years has prepared businesses across all sectors to expect the unexpected. Manufacturers have had no choice but to integrate technology to make their operations more flexible, scalable and digital. But like any innovation, new digital technologies are never far away. So, preparing for what’s next will help manufacturers to gain a competitive edge and keep their digital operations at the edge of innovation.

The author is Johan Jonzon, co-founder and CMO of edge analytics provider Crosser.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow


Ospitek, BEST Health System partner to improve the outpatient surgical experience with IoT, AI

Posted on: December 6, 2022

OSPITEK INC., the developer of the proprietary Digital Health platform VIEW, has partnered with Ohio’s BEST Health System to implement the VIEW software platform in BEST’s outpatient surgical centres. The VIEW platform is a cloud-based software and IoT enhanced, Ambulatory Surgery Centre (ASC) management and communication platform, designed for rapid adoption to compliment legacy EHR

Read more

KORE collaborates with Google Cloud to deliver IoT solutions

Posted on: December 6, 2022

KORE, a global specialist in Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions and worldwide IoT Connectivity-as-a-Service (IoT CaaS) has announced that it has established a go to market alliance with Google Cloud to bring IoT capabilities to global businesses.

Read more

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more