As known, in order to continue to be competitive, if not more specifically to continue to exist, it is necessary to continue to innovate also in the industry and manufacturing sector. When it comes to innovation and manufacturing, it can only concern digital transformation, as outlined by the Industry 4.0 Plan. However, it would be wrong and counterproductive to think that this revolution should only be aimed at the productive sphere. It is therefore necessary to immediately comprehend that digital innovation must encompass all business processes, well beyond mere production. We therefore speak not only of robotics and automation, but also of cloud technologies, integration and greater data analysis capacity, as well as, of course, artificial intelligence.

The key factors for Industry 4.0

The surveys carried out in recent years describe a sector that does not yet seem to be fully ready to face the necessary changes. However, it can be said that managers now seem to clearly understand what the key factors of Industry 4.0 are. As revealed by a McKinsey survey, business leaders put the increase in the volume of data available to the company at the center of innovation, necessarily accompanied by greater computing power. At the same time, industry will experience an increasingly central role for business intelligence and analytics solutions. And again, according to managers, they are destined to improve interactions between man and machine, with the development of new advanced robotics solutions for production, without forgetting the optimization of the processes of transferring instructions from the digital to the real world (the a clear example, in this case, is that of 3D printers). But these processes, it must be said, are not and will not be purely material and technological.

The skills needed for digitization

Having the best technologies is not enough to drive the change to industry 4.0. In fact, it is necessary to simultaneously invest in staff skills, in production and beyond. We’re talking about hard skills related to Big Data, artificial intelligence, automation, sensors, virtual reality and so on. And it is precisely here, at the human factor level, that the manufacturing industry game is played: it will always be people who intervene to manage, to optimize and to review production assets and business, tomorrow as today. Faced with the task of innovating processes, it therefore becomes doubly important to be able to count on integrated software capable of simply and intuitively responding to any new industrial management need: from ERP software and vertical applications for specific sectors to solutions to manage the organizational aspects of human resources.