22 July 2019
Customer-centricity is the concept that lies at the core of smart industry. Photo: China News
Customer-centricity is the concept that lies at the core of smart industry. Photo: China News

Three key elements of smart industry

In the digital era of the 21st Century, accelerated development of smart industry will give rise to new industry clusters one after another and change the value chains in different sectors.

Smart industry is not about using new technology to produce new products. Rather, it refers to the application of internet technology to traditional industries and helping the firms better explore customer demand.

Customer-centricity concept lies at the core of smart industry. The aim is to offer customized products for different customer groups or even a specific consumer.

Customers would be able to engage in product design and the production process through internet, while the business sector can respond rapidly to shifting customer needs.

Airbnb is a good example. Its platform lets customers play a key role in shaping the services, such as the size of the room for rental, the furniture, and decoration in accordance with varied traveler demands, an arrangement that is far more flexible compared to traditional hotels.

The framework of smart industry has three common elements.

First, it crosses several industries. For example, a product designed for patients with Alzheimer’s disease should take into account diagnosis, care-giving and treatment needs.

Second, as the advent of cloud and Internet of Things enables massive data to be collected and help assist operations, analysis of such data could improve the capability to forecast future trends.

AI and robots will form an important part of smart industry, as they perform better than human beings in algorithms, calculations and operating different objects. For example, an AI system can automatically make procurement, production and logistics decisions based on customer requests and orders.

While technology innovation is crucial, the spirit of entrepreneurship is also critical. By entrepreneurship, I mean we all have to keep learning and beefing up our knowledge in design, programming, AI and robotics to stay competitive and relevant.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct 11

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Information Technology Federation Chairman

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