The fourth Industrial Revolution Is Here
We first started using steam and water to boost production. We then moved on to using electricity, oil and steel to create mass production. After that, we were introduced to information and communication technology (ICT) in the 1980s, around the time the Digital Era started. Finally, we reach a point in time that served (and continually serves…) as a turning point for many people; the Fourth Industrial Revolution a.k.a Industry 4.0.
The technological breakthroughs that have accompanied the Fourth Revolution include artificial intelligence, 3D printing, The Internet of Things, robotics and many other technological developments.
We, more often than not, underestimate the speed and rate of change that is occurring in today’s world and how fast we’re branching out of the Digital Revolution into something bigger and more ambitious. We therefore tend to overlook or rather dismiss how these technological advancements have shaped our daily lives and not to mention the impact they have from a business perspective.
How’s This Important for Businesses?
With the approach of the Fourth Revolution, long commutes, physical labor and low pay have long been a distant memory. With the available technology, people can now spend more time with their loved ones while also working full-time jobs and receiving steady incomes. You can now connect with your coworkers and managers from across the globe with a click of a button or communicate with them through a small device.
Likewise, e-commerce and online shopping have transformed our lives on a whole different scale. You don’t have to go to China or the USA to get certain products you can’t get locally, all you have to do is order it online and it’ll be there at your threshold without you taking one single step outside the door.
Because of all the services that we can now obtain without much effort on our part, customer expectations have definitely increased over the past few years. Google, YouTube, Uber, Anghami (or Spotify), Amazon and many other online services have raised the bar for customer expectations by a lot. The upcoming generation of consumers are millennials who grew up with technology, so you can’t expect them to do whatever was tolerable for people a few decades ago; like reading instruction manuals, ordering food on the phone or be placed on a waiting list. Why do that when they have Google there to answer their every question whenever they want? Or book a hotel room on phone when you can just use Airbnb to book one in seconds?
Businesses and industries are seeing a rise in new technologies that are being created to enhance existing services. This is why many startups and fresh-faced entrepreneurs today are thriving and growing faster than ever, pushing aside all bigger competitors by providing better quality and faster services for convenient and reasonable prices.
The reason for the success of these businesses is also because they’re veering away from the traditional methods of providing services and putting emphasis on strengthening their relationships with their consumers (B2C) and businesses (B2B). Businesses should therefore place more focus on building a deeper connection with clients whether that client is a company or just a regular customer.
Adaptation in this age and era is key. The demands and focus of customers are shifting more towards mobile and online services, like accessing certain data or using platforms that meet their social needs. We’re talking about things like day-to-day activities of ordering food, shopping and traveling that are easily accessible via mobile or computer. Furthermore, this forces companies to start considering providing services and designing them to the costumers’ liking so they can get themselves back on the business market.
The Bottom Line
The Fourth Revolution has a major effect on businesses from customer expectations to organizational forms. It’s fact; economy revolves around the consumers, therefore, how they are served and what kind of services they’re getting should become the most important aspect businesses and entrepreneurs need to take into consideration. Businesses need to be able to turn their physical products into online-based or automated services that enhance customer experiences. Nowadays, anything online or technological will be automatically viewed by the client as more durable and long-lasting.
The new era has forced companies and start-ups alike to reexamine how they run their businesses or the services or products they provide. Both entrepreneurs and executives need to understand and stop underestimating the evolutionary changes that are constantly happening in the world around us. Customers are becoming more demanding, they want more and expect more from companies. The bottom line is simply this; we need extremely creative business leaders and entrepreneurs to take the rails, because they’re the ones who will truly improve the economy and provide innovative ways to make life for your average Joe easier.