Who’s in your network? What are they really good at? What resources can they access? What are you all passionate about? What challenges could you tackle together? What solutions should you create? When can you get started?
For Brad and I, answering these questions led us to create steamchest, a 'pandemic silver lining' experience for us both. We started up a networking session every Friday that focuses on the question - how might we make Industry 4.0 go faster? We discovered quickly that, if we could combine our networks in interesting ways and run experiments together, good things happen. Experiment #1: join us for a Friday call using this link. Our only rule is: we never miss a Friday call!
Networking with others, we concluded that heavy industry, the sector we've served over our entire careers is doing just fine with Industry 4.0 adoption and the biggest improvements for those large industrial operating companies will come from adopting agile work processes. In other words - technology isn't the challenge for these big companies. They have sophisticated IT departments. Their HR departments are busy hiring developers. They have money to invest in R&D and technology pilots. AWS, Microsoft and Google are selling reinvention to their CIOs.
Down market the picture is very different. The current ecosystem of Industry 4.0 technology and services is difficult to access for light industrial companies and small manufacturers. With technology accelerating the pace of change for large manufacturing, how long will it be before these smaller companies are left behind altogether?
Imagine if light industrial companies could plug into an ecosystem of value where knowledge, expertise, technology and resources could be accessed in a way that was fully calibrated to the scale of an individual company's business? What would that look like?