I am wanting to know how necessary it is to work in industry after undergrad and before applying to a PhD. On one hand, I have a lot of industry/ research experience and have a good deal of specialized knowledge in the area of computer science that I want to research. On the other hand, most people I work with worked in industry before getting their PhD. What's the general consensus?
From my experience in CS in Canada, most student do not have industry experience before doing their Ph.D. And I have not seen this as a requirement for entering the Ph.D either. The reason is that a Ph.D. is not an industrial project although it could be related to the industry in some cases. But it does not need to. During a Ph.D. the goal is not to commercialize a project. But it is to advance knowledge in a given field. Some people do a Ph.D. project in collaboration with a company. But from my experience, most people don't. So to answer your question: it is not important to have industry experience. But it can help. Perhaps that you will know how to better manage your time, etc. and this may be help in carrying your Ph.D project.
In addition to Phil's answer, and depends on your workplace policy, you have a chance to earn your PHD through practical-research at work. For example: If your company is developing a new algorithm for VR-game helmet combining the player's neurotransmitter-signals, you can propose a research in that field, while working and developing this algorithm.
As for the original poster, you said that you have a lot of industry-experience, so maybe you should check out this option too.