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20 August 2019

The Fourth Industrial Revolution


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The Fourth Industrial Revolution

We live in truly remarkable times. While our lightweight smartphones and one-click shopping may somehow feel routine by now, they’re actually anything but.

These conveniences and sizable advancements in technology are just a few examples of our society as a whole riding the rising crest of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era that’s been defined as the following:

“A Fourth Industrial Revolution is now building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterised by a fusion of technologies that are blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres.”

A Global Shift

This blurring of lines and fusion of industries can be hard to describe at times because it’s so all-encompassing and multi-dimensional. In fact, it depends on a combination of the latest in disruptive technologies and seismic shifts in industries that include robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), Manufacturing 4.0 and more.

While there is a natural chronology that has occurred from the First Industrial Revolution, a process beginning in the 18th century from 1760 to 1840, until the present day, many analysts believe that the exponential rate of growth has catalyzed a new era of unprecedented speed and technology moving faster than ever before.

While gas and oil ushered in the Second Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century, and nuclear energy ushered in the Third Industrial Revolution (circa 1969), our latest state of innovation synthesizes all existing technologies and in doing so, makes old methods of manufacturing, production and global communication, pale in comparison.

Manufacturing 4.0 

Take for example, Factories 4.0, a byproduct of Manufacturing 4.0, which synthesizes sophisticated big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing to create an unparalleled level of productivity across manufacturing entities that have made the shift into new modalities of production. In this process, machine-learning creates a new level of production efficiency, while cybersystems monitor physical manufacturing processes while simultaneously maximizing interoperability.

These solutions now referred to as “smart factories” will someday replace old methods of production entirely, accelerating the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution even further.

Macro-Forces

While these macro forces of change, speed and relentless advancement are steering industry at large, it’s crucial to remember that our clients are running in the same race of breakneck innovation. This means that they’re also in need of both tangible and intangible assets to win new business and deliver the results that customers have come to expect in a revolutionary era.

Despite all of the factors mentioned above, banking and lending services remain more valuable and pertinent than ever. In particular, asset finance solutions such as those provided by Maia Financial have quickly become the conduit which allows businesses to evolve, adapt and ultimately thrive.

As traditional as it may sound, the asset life cycles and use cases that our clients require have been our bread and butter for over 25 years.

Even amidst the change, the ways in which we allow our clients to innovate and improve has served as the lifeblood of businesses and private practices looking to remain on the cutting-edge of industry. If the exponential rate of growth has taught us anything, it’s that regardless of what the “cutting-edge” looks like in 1 year or even 10, it won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Looking Ahead

Since different industries will be impacted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution in various ways, it’s important to pay attention to the specific nuances and patterns across these different areas.

Accordingly, we thought we’d take a look at emergent trends we’ve spotted across sectors. Detailed below, you’ll find 5 trends that are impacting the way that businesses operate right now:

Computer Hardware & Software

  • Businesses of all types, alongside schools, universities and local councils will require the latest computer hardware and software to thrive in the years ahead. While technology accelerates, maintaining access to evolving computer technologies becomes increasingly important, especially considering that lacking new equipment/upgrades can lead to an immediate loss of efficiency and access to the latest tools. We believe that regularly replacing this equipment will remain paramount for countless organizations in the years ahead.

Evolving Physical Spaces

  • Even in the realm of e-commerce and digitized experiences (VR/AR), both traditional retail and work environments will remain critical hubs for both commerce and business. Businesses will largely be required to upgrade and re-outfit their environment aggressively to keep up with new consumer and workplace expectations. This will look different to specific businesses, but the theme remains the same: keeping pace with technological advancement requires rapid adaption.

Specialised Industrial Equipment

  • Leasing is more important than ever when it comes to industrial equipment, primarily due to shortening replacement cycles. This means that whether we’re talking about new equipment for mining services or robotic refrigeration in the food processing industry (a perfect example of manufacturing 4.0), leasing is a more effective option than purchasing when advancements move this fast.

Clean, Green Technology

  • Clean technology has been a large Australian national investment, which impacts more than just utility and energy costs. This area is vast, ranging from solar solutions to electric vehicle charging stations and even machines that almost instantly eliminate food waste. As you might imagine, the financing possibilities behind our shift to green technology are equally vast.

Advanced Medical Equipment

  • This specific area has been a key, long-term area of concentration for Maia Financial. Quantum leaps in medical equipment and technology make us extremely optimistic about long-term opportunities for clients to leverage capital and operational expenditure strategically in order to roll out the latest solutions, with once unimaginable client outcomes and success rates.

While it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the technological advancements and rapid shifts occurring all around us, we tend to get excited about the path ahead. That’s because we believe that with adequate preparation and a methodology of active expansion, there is no limit to what can ultimately be accomplished.

Leaders across industry must be prepared to question their strategies and business models over the years to come. Those that do and adapt accordingly, will position themselves not just to survive in this new era, but to thrive as well.

Since different industries will be impacted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution in various ways, it’s important to pay attention to the specific nuances and patterns across these different areas.

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