Digitization, Industry 4.0, flux capacitors - and what then?
The latest sector reports published by VDI Technologiezentrum on digitization and Industry 4.0 reveal that technology alone cannot provide all the answers. The combination of technology, humans and organization clearly requires greater coordination.3 Jan 2018
Digitization entails developments that raise issues, are in many cases already happening and will only become more far-reaching and complex during the years ahead. The sector reports contained in the new publication "Digitization and Industry 4.0 - technology alone will not suffice" seek to describe these developments in concrete terms and encourage debate on the effects of digitization on labor, co-determination and organizational and technical developments.
This compendium was written by innovation policy advisers at VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH (VDI TZ) together with experts in industrial and labor research from TU Dortmund as part of a research project sponsored by the Hans Böckler Foundation. The collaborative effort arrived at the hardly surprising conclusion that the working environment in the sectors in question is undergoing increasing change, as the new information and communication technologies enable modularization, new networks, big data and increasingly optimum algorithms. "This places new demands on employees," the project's director, Dr. Norbert Malanowski from VDI, sums up. Some jobs have been changing, others disappearing, and new ones are being created, he explains. The authors of the sector reports therefore recommend focusing more on the interaction between the three factors technology, humans and organization. In industry, this applies to companies, workforces, works councils, trades unions, employers and also associations as the key engines of innovation.
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