If you want to be successful with Industry 4.0 you need to know two things: scale and change.
To me, scale is the single biggest issue that prevents businesses being successful with IT deployments. Without scale, business thinking becomes too localised and that localisation means businesses become too detailed, too specific, with too many opinions getting in the way of progress.
Waterfall project management approaches have compounded this, as the scope needs to be defined upfront the requirements are tied to the contract instantly. We have created a combative environment where there is a battle of wills between the two parties.
This is not a culture where collaboration and innovation can breed. Waterfall also fails on two other parameters, the generation of value in a continuous way and the management of risk. Risk is change and change is risk.
What about change? The one thing we must remember is that change is inevitable therefore risk is constant. Whether that is change to some underlying technology, versions of applications, system interfaces, the people on the project or the requirements of the business.
DevOps is not just for application developers, every business should be considering this a key part of their future IT landscape. DevOps using Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery approaches allows for the change to be managed in a controlled manner.
That includes complete traceability from the requirements to the user stories and personas, the infrastructure as code (IaC), the application and configuration, and the security policies and procedures.
To get Industry 4.0 done, every business needs to think about adopting CI/CD as a key part of their digital transformation journey. To achieve this, you will need:
1) UX Designers adopting Design Thinking methodologies
2) Change to contract agreements with IT suppliers to allow for agile
3) Cloud architecture that can be part of the collaborative team
4) Engagement with the wider business to adopt technology at scale
5) Acceptance that change is normal, not something to fight
Have fun transforming your business!