We’ve come a long way since the original industrial revolution of the 1700s.
Indeed, we’ve come so far that we now trace our progress through not one but four distinct periods of revolutionary growth and innovation. Each prior period laid the foundation for the next, leading us to our present state: the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Beginning in the 2000s, the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents the convergence of emerging digital technologies, the agility of mobile telecommunications, and evolving business processes and automation that are disrupting countless industries. And disruption is an apt word for it – this revolution is changing the very nature of existing businesses while simultaneously spawning new ones.
How did we get here?
- The First Industrial Revolution: The 1700s heralded the invention of steam-powered machinery, which shifted manufacturing from hand-made to assembly line mass production and profoundly advanced urbanization. People left the field for the shop floor of factories, cities swelled in size, and the world was forever changed.
- The Second Industrial Revolution: In the 1800s, the invention of electricity caused a multitude of scientific advancements leading to significantly increased consumer spending and consumption. Manufacturers kept factory floors humming day and night to meet the demand.
- The Third Industrial Revolution: The 1900s brought information technology, computing and software sophistication, and the internet, laying a solid foundation for more robust capabilities. Automation empowered humans to ramp up their consumption at an astounding rate, simultaneously generating a vast storehouse of data.
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution: The digital transformation of artificial intelligence (AI), real-time data, quantum & cloud computing, global telecommunications, robotics & smart manufacturing, blockchain and ‘cybersecurity’, 3D printing, energy capture and delivery, and big data are all disrupting most everything we do… and how we do it.
Where are we going?
Industries for which time has stood still for over 50 years are now ripe for a digital technology tune-up. Smart factories and smart machines are replacing last century’s manufacturing processes, autonomous robots are augmenting the traditional workforce, and new capabilities are being added almost daily.
In the past, technology was out of reach for all but the largest businesses. Today, technology is affordable and accessible for companies of all sizes– indeed, it’s a critical part of modern business. This technological revolution is not just overhauling production processes, it’s changing the way we hire and manage staff, as well.
Traditional staffing has become antiquated – the processes used to field a workforce in the 1800s do not work in the 2000s. Simply put, a 4.0 world is still using 2.0 strategies to recruit and manage staff. For forward-thinking companies, new models of staffing combined with new technologies present an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage over those using yesterday’s practices.
Leveraging the Revolution
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought tremendous opportunity and significant challenges in equal measure. From a staffing standpoint, entire job categories are disappearing, entirely new ones are being created, and the rest are being modified by the technology that now surrounds us.
The very foundation of how we produce, sell, transport, and consume goods is changing before our very eyes, and these changes are demanding new ways of providing the labour for those endeavours. The old models simply aren’t working in the new revolution.
Companies are now finding new models. Flexible staffing strategies, just-in-time hiring, temp workers, temp-to-hire, and other alternatives to the traditional full-time workforce are now key components of how companies are maintaining a competitive advantage in the 21st-century marketplace.
Digital staffing agency, Jombone, is not only leveraging the advances of the 4th Industrial Revolution (including AI, quantum & cloud computing, machine learning, and big data analytics to name a few) to execute these new staffing strategies and recruit workforce rosters, but they’re also radically modernizing how businesses manage staff once they’re hired.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. It’s a time of opportunity and challenge. By leveraging new technologies and strategies, businesses can not only survive the revolution, but thrive.