4th Industrial revolution and business evolution

The imminent industrial revolution will fundamentally alter how people live, work, and interact with one another. In terms of size, scope, and complexity, the change will be unlike anything humans have ever experienced. While the precise direction of its growth is yet unknown, one thing is certain: in order to produce a coordinated and comprehensive response, all political actors around the world—from the public and business realms to academia and civil society—must collaborate.

The First Industrial Age used to steam and water power to automate industry. The Second made use of electricity to speed up mass production. The third automated manufacturing process utilizes electronic and computer technology. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is now taking over from the Third Industrial Revolution, or the shift to digital that has been happening since the course of the previous century. The separation between the social, technological, and biological realms is blurring as a result of technology convergence. Although industrial revolution 4.0 is changing the way businesses are run, it is also bringing about all the technological advances that were anticipated but have not yet materialized.

The industrial 4.0 Revolution

The industrial 4.0 Revolution will be dominated by businesses that are flexible enough to react to new technological innovations that are well beyond our current understanding. Business leaders must do this by fostering stability within their organizations and preparing for an uncertain future.

Many of today’s most successful enterprises are found in the convergence of technological developments. In other words, they are operating at a time when technological advancements and market demands are complementary. However, this dynamic is easily adaptable. There is a risk of a damaging divergence if market demands react to unforeseen technical innovation.

Indian industry is becoming more adept at experimenting with and implementing fresh concepts. India experienced a 20 percent average yearly growth rate in new robot installations from 2008 to 2010, compared to a 15 percent global average, according to the International Federation of Robotics.

Technology-driven innovations will eventually increase output and efficacy. Manufacturing, communication, and transportation costs will all go down, and supply chains and logistics will improve. All of these changes will open up new markets and encourage economic expansion.

PwC survey

Developing an organizational culture and company strategy that can endure these inevitable and potentially disastrous changes is a responsibility for today’s business executives. According to a PwC survey, 43% of organizations claim to have a staff focused on digital innovation. However, it is no longer adequate to use new technology to merely improve products and services that currently exist. It might be terrible for each company’s operations or for the employees’ professional futures.

Why? Because it’s possible to become unduly concerned with industry 4.0 items and miss the changes that are coming to the economy and many different industries. Businesses nowadays must mix the more radical business model innovation strategy with product innovation.

Reason for 4th Industrial revolution

Today’s changes are more than just a continuation of the Third Revolution; they herald the start of a Fourth, brand-new one due to three factors: velocity, scope, and systems influence. The speed of technological advancements has no precedent in the past. Comparing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to prior ones, it is growing exponentially rather than linearly. Additionally, it is revolutionizing almost every industry worldwide. The size and complexity of these changes also herald a thorough reorganization of the management, governance, and production procedures.

The possibilities are essentially endless with the vast processing, storage, and knowledge access capabilities made possible by billions of people being connected via mobile devices. This potential will be multiplied by new technological advancements in fields including robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous cars, 3-D printing, biotechnology, materials engineering, power storage, and quantum computing.

Opportunities and threats

Similar to the last revolution, the fourth industrial revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve people’s standards of living. Since technology has made it possible for new goods and services that enhance the efficacy and happiness of our private lives, consumers who can access and afford the digital world have so far profited from it the most. You can now conduct any of these operations remotely, including ordering a cab, booking a flight, buying something, paying a bill, watching a movie, or playing a game.

A supply-side miracle with long-term gains in productivity and efficiency will also be produced by future technological improvements. Costs associated with global supply chains, logistics, and trade will all decrease, opening up new markets and stimulating the economy. Costs associated with communication and travel will also decrease. 

Inequality may rise as a result of the revolution’s ability to change labor markets. The gap between capital returns and returns on labor may expand due to the net replacement of workforce by technology as a result of automation replacing labor throughout the whole global economy. On the other hand, it’s also conceivable that, in the long run, technology job displacement will result in a net gain in stable and fulfilling employment. Not only is inequality a major economic concern, but it is also the main social problem associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The main winners from innovation are often the inventors, stockholders, and investors who provide the intellectual and social capital, which explains the growing wealth gap between those who rely on capital against labor. Technology is one of the main reasons why earnings have stagnated or even reduced for the bulk of the population in high-income countries since the demand for highly skilled workers has climbed while it has decreased for those with less education and poorer ability. Due to this hollowing out of the middle of the labor market, demand is high at the high and low ends.

Effect on the businesses

The rapidity of innovation and the velocity of disturbance are difficult to fathom or forecast, and these drivers act as a source of perpetual surprise, even for the approach and most informed people, is a recurrent topic in interviews with global CEOs and senior business executives. In fact, there is plenty of evidence showing that firms across all industries are being profoundly influenced by the technologies driving the Industrial Revolution 4.0. 

On the supply side, a wide range of industries is observing the rise of new ideas that fundamentally reinvent how to satisfy present requirements and significantly disrupt the value chains of established companies. Because they have access to global digital platforms for research, innovation, marketing, sales, and distribution, agile, innovative competitors are also producing disruption. By improving the quality, speed, or cost at which value is delivered, these rivals can unseat long-standing incumbents more quickly than ever before.

An important trend is the development of computer platforms that mix supply and demand to overturn traditional industrial structures, such as those we see in the “sharing” or “on demand” economies. These technological platforms connect people, resources, and data and make them simple to use thanks to smartphones, creating entirely new channels for the consumption of goods and services. By removing obstacles to wealth development, they also alter working conditions for both individuals and businesses. The range of other services offered by these brand-new platform companies is rapidly growing and now includes laundry, shopping, chores, parking, massages, and travel.

All things considered, the Industrial Revolution 4.0 has four key effects on business: altered client expectations, enhanced products, encouraged collaborative innovation, and altered organizational structures. Customers—consumers or businesses—are becoming more and more vital to the economy, which is focused on improving the customer experience. Physical goods and services can now be enhanced with digital features to increase their value. Assets are more resilient and durable thanks to new technologies, and data analytics is completely changing how they are maintained. In a world of user experience, data-based solutions, and asset quality through analytics, new types of collaboration are required. This is especially true given how swiftly change and development take place. Finally, the emergence of global scales and other cutting-edge business models necessitates a reevaluation of organizational structures, culture, and personnel.

Due to the unstoppable shift from basic digitization to creation based on a combination of technologies, the Industrial Revolution 4.0 is ultimately forcing firms to reconsider how they conduct business. However, the essential reality still applies: senior leaders and firm executives must understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operational teams, and innovate relentlessly and brutally.

Few factors to be considered:

  • Will there be more activity across sectors and less strict sectoral borders as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
  • What impacts can be expected on the labor force, as well as their academic and professional experiences?
  • How will future organizations be structured?

Let us discuss it one by one:

  • Will there be more activity across sectors and less strict sectoral borders as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

To maintain a competitive advantage, a company must have a solid understanding of its industry. However, the shift to digital technology may spur more activity in other industries. The ability to plan and carry out actions across market sectors will necessitate international cooperation and determine who will prevail in the fourth industrial revolution.

  • What impacts can be expected on the labor force, as well as their academic and professional experiences?

As many organizations are learning with the current digital revolution, it is foolish to think that a company can employ or recruit their way out of this problem of a personnel skills mismatch. The labor market is too pricey and competitive for them. A company’s employees must be proactively trained to achieve higher standards if it is to succeed in the future. Improved learning and development techniques are required to increase their digital fitness. According to PwC’s Digital IQ Survey, 60% of the organizations surveyed thought their employees lacked the technical capabilities necessary to guide their company into the future. Businesses that can recruit and retain highly skilled and educated employees will be better positioned for the fourth industrial revolution.

  • How will future organizations be structured?

By placing more emphasis on business model innovation than product innovation, the focus is shifted away from existing organizations and toward organizations of the future. Due to this fundamental shift, the current market leaders will face wholly new competitors and brand-new firms. Competitive dynamics from sector to sector will also change. Since the competitive scene is considerably different from what was previously believed, this is currently being noted.

Organizations that are wise enough to recognize the potential of the fourth industrial revolution are already developing these forward-thinking initiatives. Their tactics also exhibit flexibility rather than strict road maps, showing a more adaptive approach that is better suited to take into account quick developments.

These corporations are working together with other companies in the same industry, with employees, governments, and with educational institutions to increase the possibility that the 4th Industrial Revolution will succeed and lessen societal turmoil brought on by change. Technical know-how and a deep understanding of the potential impacts of the fourth industrial revolution on legislation, competition, and the labor force are both necessary. Risk mitigation and positioning for potential mergers and acquisitions are also quite significant.


If poorly managed, these shifts “increase the risk of growing skills gaps, more inequality, and wider divisiveness,” the paper states. They could, however, bring in a new era of exceptional work, good jobs. And enhanced quality of life for all if they are controlled wisely. – 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Report

In a developing society, technological advancements and changes in the labor force are expected and common. Some worry that the Fourth Industrial Revolution may bring about a bleak future when robots mostly replace humans in the job and there is a significant wealth disparity between those who own robots and those who do not. However, automating essential processes could reduce the most boring aspects of our work and free up human employees to focus on more meaningful, rewarding tasks.

 We understand that the fourth industrial revolution has already begun and has a very high potential for development. We also sense the ambiguity that surrounds it. But our assumptions can obscure the truth or whole different truth. Regardless of what transpires in the following iteration, the company will be ready. Industrial revolution 4.0, with all of its technological advances. Both anticipated and yet realized, is not only a revolution in manufacturing. But also a fundamental shift in how business is conducted. We would all want to think that the Industrial Revolution 4.0 will largely have a positive impact on employment in the future. We’ll be able to focus on more crucial tasks and help workers across various industries do their jobs more effectively. We are anticipating new advancements and are now thinking about how to use Artificial Intelligence in the workplace.



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