Digital Leaders Blog

Industry 4.0 holds the promise of a new era of globalisation. Yet a recent study by Deloitte concludes that most senior executives remain unprepared for a world of digital disruption.

Based on a survey of over 2,000 C-Suite Executives, Deloitte concluded that:

Many executives are struggling to develop effective strategies in today’s rapidly changing markets. Faced with an ever-increasing array of new technologies, leaders acknowledged they have too many options from which to choose and, in some cases, they lack the strategic vision to help guide their efforts. Organizational influences also challenge leaders as they seek to navigate Industry 4.0. Many leaders reported their companies don’t follow clearly defined decision-making processes, and organizational silos limit their ability to develop and share knowledge to determine effective strategies.

Leaders continue to focus more on using advanced technologies to protect their positions rather than make bold investments to drive disruption. Although many of the businesses that have made investments in technology are seeing payoffs, others are finding it difficult to take the step toward investing - even as digital technologies are engendering more global connections and creating new opportunities within new markets and localized economies. Challenges include being too focused on short-term results and lacking understanding, business cases, and leadership vision. Leaders acknowledge the ethical implications inherent with new technology, but few companies are even talking about how to manage those challenges, let alone actively putting policies in place to do so. Further, business leaders and governments continue to wrestle with how to regulate Industry 4.0 technologies.

The skills challenge becomes clearer, but so do differences between executives and their millennial workforces. Last year, most leaders (86 percent) thought their organizations were doing enough to create a workforce for Industry 4.0. This year, as more leaders recognize the growing skills gap, only 47 percent are as confident in their efforts. On the bright side, twice as many leaders indicate their organizations will do what they can to train their existing employees rather than hire new ones. And they’re more optimistic than last year that autonomous tech will augment, rather than replace, humans. But research from Deloitte Global’s annual millennial survey suggests leaders and employees (particularly younger ones) differ on which skills are most needed and who is responsible for developing them.

The study also identified four main types of leader for the digital era as shown in the video below (please click image to link to the origial artical and video).

Source: How Leaders are Navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Jim H

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