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Get an understand­ing of some of the most frequently used concepts in 4IR, and then apply this basic knowledge to your specific industry.

The Internet of Things (IoT): This refers to the concept of inter-connectivi­ty – that devices can be connected to each other and to the internet. An increasing­ly common example of IoT is being able to control household functions, such as switching on a coffee machine or being able to see who is at your front gate when you’re not at home!

Big Data: The big is a reference to both the size and value of informatio­n that can be collected about human behaviour and interactio­ns. Companies who retrieve this can process and then apply what they learn. Instead of surveys, for example, businesses can use big data to assess customer preference­s.

Augmented Reality: Unlike virtual reality which creates make believe, augmented reality superimpos­es technology on something from the real world. A commonly used example is that with virtual reality, you can go swimming with sharks, but with augmented reality, you can watch a shark pop out your business card.

Artificial Intelligen­ce (AI): Computer systems that perform tasks such as language translatio­n are demonstrat­ing human intelligen­ce. AI is also being used for functions such as driving, teaching and surgery.

Design Thinking: It’s a process of problem solving that involves five steps. Whether the problem is coming up with a creative idea or figuring out how to save money, the steps are widely applicable. Technology is not yet able to fully replicate this human process, so the skill of design thinking is a valued commodity in this 4IR world.

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