Technology has been an agent for change. We saw that when the notion of “systems of record” came to life with MRP and ERP decades ago. Similarly, we witnessed how mobility, cloud, and social triggered the creation of “systems of engagement,” where data moved to mobile devices and to “on-the-person.” That period also saw the emergence and impact of unstructured data on processes and decision making.
We are now observing how IT and OT domains are converging, as traditional “walls” are being removed, enabling end-to-end business processes across engineering, manufacturing, logistics, marketing, sales, and service.
Today, we are at a historical crossroads again where IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, smart robots, and mixed reality are driving the creation of “systems of intelligence.” In this new era, we know that every industry and every business must re-invent itself and become a “digital enterprise.” Organizations that gain digital competencies and capabilities will be quick to adapt to today’s disruptive forces, even drive them, and be a catalyst for new products, services, and experiences. But this disruption is not limited to technology.
One of the most important aspects of change is happening around the global workforce. In this paper, I share my thoughts around how the global workforce will be impacted by ongoing trends, as well as ideas about how three core groups—manufacturers, employees, and the industry at large—can prepare for this massive transformation.