Guest Author Peter van Bart
Take a Look at New Opportunities
We can say that Information 4.0 or smart content is the new era of information. But what does it mean in practice? Why make use of it? What is its value? These questions will be answered in our practice example. Information 4.0 creates strategic value for information and injects new life into the profession of technical communication. It is of value not just for the user but also for the whole organization.
What Is Information 4.0 Really?
You will find the characteristics of information 4.0 on different websites. One definition is this:
Information is an integral part of emerging technology. The concept of 4.0 first started by examining how information is dealt with in Industry 4.0 and then expanding it to the emerging high-powered technologies around us. Information 4.0 examines the form, production, interaction and curation of this information component. It also examines the changing and emerging information roles. Information4Zero
For me, the key concept of information 4.0 is that information can be visualized as a cloud of information molecules that surrounds us, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. These information molecules can be accessed directly, assembled, and changed by different users in various formats. You can integrate information molecules with data, other information systems, and products and services. A comprehensive visual of this concept was created by Marie Girard and Joe Gollner:
What Should an Information 4.0 Product Provide?
Information 4.0 is an appealing concept. But how does it work in practice? It is a system that identifies who you are, where you are, and shows the tasks that need to be done. Furthermore, it should provide the necessary information for your tasks right there and then. Many different industry sectors can be supported by this system. They include the energy sector, infra sector, machine and equipment building. They all benefit from the same idea of supporting the maintenance and operations using smart information.
One day a group of people came up with the idea of developing a smart app that realizes the concepts of Information 4.0. What should this app provide and what are the benefits?
When you want to perform a task, detailed task information is given. You can approve or reject tasks. Further information for instruction, reference and learning is at hand.
–> This provides a better understanding and more accurate selection of the information that you really need.
You can record what you have done and make comments for improvement. The results and comments can be monitored in the back-end by other users, e.g. planners. Information and comments on the tasks completed are received by the planning software.
–> With transparency in place, all users can contribute to improvements. A planning software gives us control over the processes and makes them possible to improve.
The App is supplied with information and data from different sources and integrated with a Component Content Management System. All information molecules are tagged with metadata.
–> Metadata and the integration in the CCM-System are essentials that provide the correct information at the right time, in the right place.
The Business Value of Information 4.0 Products
The value of a smart app we described here is for the user and the organization.
For maintenance personnel and operators, Information 4.0 provides them with the information they need to do their job easily and correctly, at the right time, in the right place. The user feels confident that he can complete his job correctly and safely in a comfortable manner. Training on the job is possible and timely. The user can be sure that his comments for improvement will be used and valued.
For other users in the organization, e.g. planners, team leaders, quality assurance, management, this results in easier planning with more insight and control. Feedback and results from the field can be used to improve maintenance and operational procedures. This leads to better equipment performance, assured quality of work and savings in cost and time.
From Idea to Product
If you recall the group of people who arrived at the idea of developing an app for Industry 4.0, we are one of them. We include Eluxis and two other companies, Innovadis and Pelders Maintenance management. Applying the concepts of information 4.0, we developed Tip4Support. For more information, take a look at our website: www.tip4support.nl. This information is available in Dutch only. A translated version will be made available soon.
About the Author:
Peter van Bart is director and co-founder of Eluxis.
For more than 20 years, Eluxis has helped organizations to be successful through the smart, innovative deployment of the proper knowledge for their employees, partners and customers. This is what we call realizing Return on Knowledge®.