Statistics show that the industrial revolution is really gathering pace. In 2021, the annual number of 4IR-related acquisitions hit a peak of 132. This represents an increase of 116% in the past decade.
If businesses want to remain competitive in the coming years, they need to adapt to these changes and embrace technology that enables them do so. With that being said, read on to discover some of the best tools to embrace for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, known as Industry 4.0 or 4IR, is a way of describing the blurred boundaries between the biological, digital, and physical worlds. You may have already noticed this with the prevalence of the Metaverse. Some of the technologies that are driving this change include:
- 3D printing
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Augmented reality (AR)
- Faster computing processing
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
What are the best SaaS tools for adapting to the 4IR?
There are a number of different tools that can help your business to adapt effectively to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so let’s take a look at some of the best:
1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
There is only one place to begin, and this is with eCommerce integration with ERP. This will eliminate silos and provide you with a single, unified data hub.
ERP software combines the processes and elements of a company into one integrated system. For the majority of B2B businesses, a functional ERP makes sure that various business management applications work in harmony together.
You can harmoniously complete a lot of back-office functions, such as HR functions, warehouse management, inventory software, and Information Technology (IT) services.
There are a number of benefits of making eCommerce and ERP work as one so that you can drive your business forward in the 4IR. This includes the following:
- Handling increases in demand
- Automating accounting tasks
- Simplifying order tracking
- Save company time
2. Artificial Intelligence chatbots
Next, AI chatbots are becoming more and more commonplace. These chatbots interact with customers, providing them with answers to their queries or connecting them with a human advisor when needed.
Over the past few years, chatbots have been somewhat frustrating, only dealing with the most basic queries. However, those days are becoming a thing of the past thanks to the likes of ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is a general-purpose AI chatbot prototype that the Internet is head over heels for right now. It’s rapidly become a prime example of the influence AI content is going to have in the future, showing how powerful these tools can be.
Getting on the ChatGPT train now makes a lot of sense, as we will likely have some big integrations with other applications in the future. After all, Microsoft is reported to have made a multi-billion-dollar investment in the application.
Teams Premium was the first integration, with a number of OpenAI features showing up to provide transcripts and automate tasks.
Considering ChatGPT is now available in Bing, it’s only a matter of team before we see OpenAI and ChatGPT’s other technologies wrapped into applications like Word and Powerpoint.
3. Software for managing big data
Managing big data is something that’s becoming more and more critical with businesses today. Companies are handling more data than ever before, so they need to do so efficiently, and that’s what 4IR big data tools enable us to do.
Data is meaningless until it’s turned into useful knowledge and information, which can help your management in decision-making.
Some of the different data analytics and management tools you may want to consider to drive your business forward include Knime, Cassandra, Apache Hadoop, Dataddo, Dextrus, and Adverity.
4. VR technology
As VR headsets are becoming more accessible, and software opens up to support developers in experimenting, there are heaps of opportunities for businesses interested in the world of VR.
There are a lot of great applications on the market that help businesses embrace VR at the moment. For example, MeetinVR helps businesses to make their meeting experience more immersive than ever before.
This is a tool that’s dedicated to ensuring human interactions in a virtual landscape are a lot more intuitive.
The MeetinVR experience links people together all over the world, with file sharing, mind mapping, brainstorming features, and customizable virtual avatars.
You can present and review resources and materials with ease in a shared space, sketch together ideas, and generate 3D models with your colleagues.
Another good option to consider is Immersed. Immersed VR is a unique collaborative experience for businesses that want to embrace VR technology. You don’t need a significant amount of money to explore this one, as it’s available for free.
The system operates by placing your remote workers all in the same virtual environment. This means you can work together collaboratively as if you were all in the same office together. However, you can switch to private working if required.
As workforces become more and more remote, these tools are going to be more commonplace.
The best tools to help you adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution
So there you have it: an insight into some of the best tools to consider embracing at your business to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The suggestions we’ve mentioned above can help you to embrace the new technologies that are driving the 4IR forward so that your business thrives in years to come.