In our previous article on the pros and cons of freelancing, we have shown how big and prospective the freelance market currently is. Now it is time to look at the international trends that directly impact freelancing and have caused this industry to count as many as 1,2 billion participants globally. The three key trends that we will look at are Industry 4.0, the Future of Work Movement and the Great Resignation. Today, we will discuss the first of them – Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 – what is it and why should we care about it?
Industry 4.0 represents a social, political and economic shift from the digital age of the late 1990s and early 2000s to an era of embedded connectivity which is characterised by the omni-use and commonplace presence of technology in society that changes how we experience and understand the world around us. To make it simple, Industry 4.0 is the digital transformation of manufacturing (i.e. production) and related industries as well as the value creation processes. Four main themes summarize the Industry 4.0 concept and have a profound impact on the future of work:
1. Interconnection — the ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other via the Internet of things (IoT) or the Internet of people (IoP).
2. Information transparency — the transparency afforded by the technology of the Industry 4.0 provides operators with comprehensive information to make decisions. Inter-connectivity allows operators to collect immense amounts of data and information from all stages of the manufacturing process and identify critical areas that can benefit from improvement to increase functionality.
3. Technical assistance — the technological facility of systems to assist humans in decision-making and problem-solving as well as the ability to help humans with difficult or unsafe tasks.
4. Decentralized decisions — the ability of cyber-physical systems to make decisions independently and perform their tasks as autonomously as possible. In the case of exceptions, interference, or conflicting goals, tasks are then delegated to a higher level.
Knowing the pros and cons
As with every trend, Industry 4.0 has its advantages and disadvantages. The key benefits certainly include higher productivity and efficiency that is based on increased automation, but also increased pleasure in our personal lives made easier thanks to the impact that technology has had on new products and services. Last but not least, the lack of physical boundaries of technology has offered Industry 4.0 a limitless platform to create new business opportunities and generate growth.
However, there are several grave concerns too, the most noticeable being privacy. The increased use of data analytics and machine learning may interfere with, or even violate our privacy. Somewhat connected with this is also the threat of surveillance and a diminished trust in technology. With more data available on individuals and groups of individuals, the risk of using personal information for personal gain and manipulation is even greater. Other concerns include business model adaptations: new technologies and marketable ideas are often unregulated and unstructured when hitting the market and suffer from a lack of standards or certifications. There is also the issue of data security in which new systems are prone to cyberattacks, and lastly data interoperability and portability.
Industry 4.0 is already changing the labour market and our daily lives to an extent never seen before. Some of those transformations are disrupting the traditional model of the company and similar institutions, of which the taxi vs. UBER and BOLT disputes are a prime example. However, not all changes related to Industry 4.0 are as disruptive: some only mildly update the existing system while still making our lives simpler and smoother. EonD is developing software aiming to revolutionize the future of work automation. The key objective of our system is to allow seamlessly finding, hiring, and managing top highly-skilled freelancers including experts and consultants.
Experts, consultants, and professionals can use advanced technology to become members of the EonD network with the help of an AI algorithm. The Join our Network form uses machine learning to scan CVs and propose an initial version of an EonD profile, saving time and hassle associated with the manual fill-in of experiences. Our clients can structure requests by using the Place a request form in an easy and convenient way. This shortens the time of candidate vetting and delivery.
Regardless if you are a traditionalist or a futuristic geek, come and join the revolution and make your life better and easier!