In August, PwC released the results of “Industry 4.0: Building the Digital Enterprise,” a survey of 186 transportation and logistics company executives from 26 countries on how they’re building digital products and integrating technology into their offerings. North American freight- and passenger-rail execs were among those surveyed. How purposefully are railroads and other transportation modes faring when it comes to embracing Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution? (Industry 4.0 is automation and data exchange in manufacturing technology, including the Internet of Things). To what extent are they building and integrating those aforementioned digital products into their service offerings? They're beginning to get better at it, notably in the customer access, sales and marketing realms, according to the PwC report, the results of which I touched on in my October column. But a lack of digital culture and training, and in some cases (maybe a lot of cases) investment, continues to hold transportation companies back.
In the event that you think in such terms (but even if you don't): How would you characterize your organization's digital culture? Is your company's digitization level on track to be "advanced" within the next five years? Or: What questions in the digital arena would be more appropriate/relevant, in your view, to discuss in rail country? We'd love to hear what you're thinking. You can comment here, if you'd like.