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Is Your Organization Ready for Globalization 4.0?

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Recently iGrafx announced another new partnership, this time with Gulf Business Machines (GBM), who specializes in deploying and managing IBM’s digital business automation portfolio in the UAE.  It’s a perfect partnership, because the most sophisticated business transformation and automation projects require a rock-solid understanding of business processes.  But you knew that already.

In my opinion, the global nature of this relationship is the most interesting and exciting piece of the release.  It’s nothing particularly new, since the business world has been talking about globalization for centuries (literally), and the international business fabric has become increasingly tightly woven since the dawn of the internet.  Here’s how the evolution is typically described:

  • Globalization 1.0 – Typically recognized as the days of European exploration – from Columbus sailing the seas, to the 1800s.
  • Globalization 2.0 – Typically 1800s to the mid-1990s – when the Internet became widely available.  Prior to that, companies had been “going global” throughout the industrial revolution, buying and selling goods and services abroad.
  • Globalization 3.0 – This is where many in business believe they are today – in an era where individuals have gone mobile and global (with the Internet), and corporations utilize different countries around the world to increase production efficiency and/or decrease labor costs.
  • Globalization 4.0 –Where we really are today.  Despite some countries taking anti-globalization steps (i.e. the UK’s Brexit), the fact of the matter is that the world is becoming more interwoven than ever before.  It’s unavoidable, given that we’ve already stepped through the looking glass into the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”  We live in an age where lines are blurred between the physical, digital and biological spheres, and the blurring is happening faster and with a broader scope each passing day.  Industries are being disrupted (look at Uber around the world) and companies need to rethink entire systems of production, management and governance.  The world – more than ever before – requires cooperation to function. 

Speaking about Globalization 4.0, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said:

Globalization 4.0 has only just begun, but we are already vastly underprepared for it. Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do. Rather, we need to redesign them from the ground up, so that we can capitalize on the new opportunities that await us, while avoiding the kind of disruptions that we are witnessing today.

The time to get our global process house in order is NOW.  We’re glad to be working side by side with GBM, and our entire network of global partners to help make it happen.

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