What were the other Industrial Revolutions?
The First Industrial revolution took place between the 18th and 19th century.
The development of factory systems, machine tools, and steam power, really driving the textile Industry and with it creating Great Britain as the world’s leading commercial nation.
The technological revolution or also known as Second Industrial Revolution was red hot on the heels of the first revolution from the 19th to the 20th century.
New techniques for steel and iron made it cheap and easy to mass produce, the availability in steal and competitive price allowed the railroads to expand and become the most widely used choice of transport.
The Second Revolution also bought us such marvels as the incandescent light bulb and electricity to power whole buildings.
The Digital revolution or the Third Industrial Revolution; which we are in at the moment, is the move away from mechanical and analogue technology to digital tech, including digital mobile phone, computes and even the internet.
The next and hopefully the greatest is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, known for now as Industry 4.0.
The building off the digital age and the use of the internet will see the increase of nanotechnology, Internet of things, Artificial intelligent, Robotics, 3D printing, Blockchain, and autonomous vehicles.
The term Industry 4.0 comes from a German project, a high-tech strategy to promote computerisation in German manufacturing and has been adopted ever since.
There are 4 requirements of technology for companies to implement that truly fit Industry 4.0 standards.
- First is connection or rather interconnection of devices, sensors and people over the IOT (Internet of things).
- Second, clear and transparent information, the ability to gather large amounts of information within the process from all sources, giving the users the ability to make clear decisions.
- Third, technical assistance or rather automation. A system that assists human workers in clustering key information and visualisation, As well as the ability to support human operators with unsafe, unpleasant, repetitive tasks through cyber physical systems.
- Fourth, decentralised decisions, cyber physical systems having the ability to perform task autonomously or as much possible, make decisions on their own with conflicts, discrepancies and approvals getting delegated.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution & Finance Software
Making a major shift with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) finance automation applications are a very easy starting point for organisations that are serious about starting to future proof themselves.
ITESOFT’s own latest generation application fits well with in Industry’s 4.0 standards; from the latest capture elements to leveraging Machine Learning (ML), just one branch of AI.
ITESOFT Streamline for Invoices is a cloud based application, being a cloud application, this allows it to connect with any other systems, hardware and devices, with no large install times. Thus offering a simple step towards the First standard of Industry 4.0. This application gives greater connectivity to allow people and systems to always be connected.
Streamline for Invoices’ back-end analytical tool allows any user to dig deep down into your finance data to get a true understanding of your Accounts Payable (AP) processes. Cue – the second requirement for 4.0.
The ability to drill down into invoice reports gives you more control and the ability to streamline your process even further.
One simple example of the benefits of full real time analytics could be catching payment bottle necks from repetitive incorrect invoices, determining which companies create more work for you gives you the power to warn you supplier to change or you may leave etc. saving you time and money.
Our application allows for the removal of repetitive scanning and keying of invoices into your finance systems, requirement 3, removing unwanted mistakes and reducing the amount of manual time on an invoice, this assists the human user to focus their time on more important tasks.
And for the fourth requirement, Streamline for Invoices is based on a BPMN+ Foundation, this allows user to set up workflows and rules, giving the application the ability to delegate approvals and discrepancy management. In fact, it could also be used to highlight bottle necks in your own processes once they are mapped.
Streamlines for Invoices ML algorithms gives the application more control to take on simple tasks, this could be the identification of invoices for approval or payment and sent through without any need for manual intervention.
Industry is ever changing, and each step of the way a piece of technology or combination of technologies have pushed human development forward.
But Industry 4.0 could well be the true start to Human and AI working along together, the rise of AI, ML and Big Data gives robots more insight and control to evaluate quickly and make changes fast that benefit their human counterparts.
Industry 4.0 is here, but hasn’t fully reached its peak and likely won’t for a while. Public perception of the benefits of automation alone will have to be challenged.
Now, I don’t where it’s leading but make sure you’re ready for it because the revolution has already started.