4IR promises radical transformation


The much-vaunted 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) holds promises to radically disrupt every industry, including the one in which TCTA operates, through an unprecedented transformation of production, management and governance systems. But hitherto much of the attention that the subject has received has been at a rather abstract level rather than the potential practical ramifications.


Organisations must stand ready to embrace and leverage the fast-emerging innovations that 4IR offers. To this end, the TCTA Strategy Division has held a Knowledge Sharing Session (KSS) for employees to explore the implications of the changing technological landscape in their lives and work.


“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another,” TCTA Senior Manager: Strategic Advisory Dawid Bosman said, quoting the founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab. “In its scale, scope and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.”


Bosman took the participants through comparisons of 4IR with the previous industrial revolutions, its expected effects and potential impact on the water sector. The presentation identified ethics and identity, agile technology governance, inequality, business disruption, disruption to jobs and skills, security and conflict, innovation and productivity, and fusing technologies as the key impact areas of the unfolding revolution.


The session further heard how the outbreak of the COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of 4IR technologies, practices and business models among businesses. Some of the developments attesting to this include a sharp decline in bricks-and-mortar businesses and a 20-fold increase in Zoom users in 2020. Other virtual-meeting and online-collaboration tools have suffered the same explosion in usage uptake.


Regarding the impact of 4IR on the water sector specifically, Bosman highlighted increasing innovations around smart water grids with automation and the use of sensors, meters and controllers. These, together with advanced analytics, will enable more efficient water management through real-time collection of data on water pressure, defects in the distribution system, availability and contamination.

TCTA held the 4IR KSS via Microsoft Teams on 23 July 2020.