Who is Employee 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is the name given to the growing combination of traditional manufacturing and industrial platforms and practices with the latest smart technology. One of its key building blocks, and a key driver of industrial change, is the internet of things (IoT) where data accessibility and connectivity (digitalization) come into play.

When talking about a shift to Industry 4.0, and especially digitalization, it’s important to consider what kind of affect this will have on our labor market.

The title of this post might sound like a character from George Orwell’s 1984. But, in reality, Employee 4.0 just means the kind of person that has adapted to a digitalized working environment. Which competences/abilities they need to help them succeed and, above all, how digitalization benefits them and not works against them.

Let’s take a look at the bigger picture and reflect on the relevance of digitalization, data and technology: Is it really necessary to measure and share everything? That’s an interesting question in the realms of social media. The youth of today are definitely feeling the pressure to share all kinds of, and often quite trivial, information. And how many of us are guilty of creating and perpetuating huge email threads? In a world that currently produces more data than storage space, we should all think very carefully about what information is important and what is not.

Today, digitalization can be seen in all walks of life and data is available everywhere. But what really makes sense and is necessary, and what is weakening the role of us mere humans? For example, one of the latest developments in the car industry is traffic sign recognition. It’s a piece of technology that looks out for road signs ahead and displays information, such as speed limits or no overtaking zones, on the dash in front of the driver. What happened to drivers themselves looking out for this kind of information? Is it really a safety issue or just a sign that we are getting lazier or less observant? And if analyzing and recognizing essential data requires ‘black belt’ in PowerBI (business intelligence) skills, then does it make sense anymore?

According to brain researcher, Katri Saarikivi, digitalization has multiplied the amount of information available. It is available in real time and around the clock via various media and people can no longer manage the huge flow. The ability to interact and show empathy are precisely the areas in which humans are beating machines.

At iLOQ, we are capitalizing on new opportunities offered by digitalization. They allow us to create products with a sufficient and ‘safe’ amount of digital technology. As a company, we value facts and data. But, above all else, we value people and will continue to focus on developing products that make life easier and safer for our key users and customers.