Industry 4.0 and the digital society: concepts, dimensions and envisioned benefits

Open access


There is a considerable amount of interest in Industry 4.0, the so-called 4fh industrial revolution, however, the concept is not clear in the literature. This research by performing a literature review on Industry 4.0, aims to present an overview of the several industrial revolutions with emphasis on Industry 4.0 and its underlined dimensions. Industry 4.0 is characterized by the advanced digitalization and integration of industrial manufacturing and logistics processes, and the use of internet and “smart” objects (machines and products) and merging the physical and the virtual worlds by the adoption of information and communications technology (ICT). Industry 4.0 fosters novel human and production organization systems and new organizational business models, impacting the overall value chain, society and the environment. Contributions for such new business models that can support Industry 4.0 are proposed with envisioned potential benefits such as shorter operations cycle times, quick delivery times, faster time to market of new products and services, improved quality, and product/service customization, stronger consumer involvement and loyalty. Industry 4.0 can help organizations to address new and emerging markets by a differentiation strategy, or even create new disruptive business models. However, it is still in the early stages for most companies and the digital transformation will require a strong leadership, the right human competences and to overcome several barriers, for its successful implementation. And while this will lead to a significant improvement in job creation, there will be also considerable job losses for Employees with low skill levels. Considering that in 2015, only 14% of Small and Medium Enterprises were using internet channel and 40% of the European Union companies still had not adopted any of the new advanced digital technologies, there is a great need to further research Industry 4.0 drivers and success factors.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • ACATTECH (2013). Recommendations for implementing the strategic initiative Industrie 4.0 German National Academy of Science and Engineering

  • Amit R. and Zott C. (2012). Creating value through business model innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review 53(3) 41-49.

  • Arnold Christian. (2017). The Industrial Internet of Things from a Management Perspective: A Systematic Review of Current Literature. Journal of Emerging Trends in Marketing and Management 1 (1) 8-21.

  • Bagheri B. Yang S. Kao H.A. and Lee J. (2015). Cyber-physical systems architecture for self-aware machines in Industry 4.0 environment. IFAC-PapersOnLine 48 (2015) 1622-1627.

  • Bucherer E. Eisert U. and Gassmann G. (2012). Towards systematic business model innovation: Lessons from product innovation management. Creativity and Innovation Management 21(2) 183-198.

  • Casadesus-Masanell R. and Zhu F. (2013). Business model innovation and competitive imitation. Strategic Management Journal 34(4) 464-482.

  • Chesbrough H (2006). Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the Innovation Landscape. Boston MA: Harvard Business School Press.

  • Chesbrough H. (2007). Business model innovation: It’s not just about technology anymore. Strategy and Leadership 35(6) 12-17.

  • Cippola C.M. (1965). Guns Sails and Empires: Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion 1400- 1700. Sunflower University Press. ISBN-10: 089745071X.

  • Davies (2015) (R. EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service. Members' Research Service PE 568.337)

  • European Commission. (2015). Digital transformation of European industry and enterprises Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship.

  • Drath R. and Horch H. (2014). Industrie 4.0: hit or hype? [industry forum] IEEE Industrial Electronic Magazine 8(2) 56-58.

  • European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (2017). China manufacturing 2025: Putting industrial policy ahead of market forces. .

  • Fonseca L. Ramos A. Rosa A. Braga A.C. Sampaio P. (2016). Stakeholders satisfaction and sustainable success. International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering 2 (2) 144-157.

  • Gobierno de España (2016). La transformación digital de la industria española Industria conectada 4.0. accessed 2017.10.25.

  • Hamel G and L Välikangas (2003). The quest for resilience. Harvard Business Review 81(9) 52-63.

  • Hermann M. Pentek T. and Otto B. (2016). Design principles for Industrie 4.0 scenarios in: 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) IEEE 3928-3937 .

  • Industry 4.0: the future of productivity and growth in manufacturing industries. (2015). Boston Consulting Group.

  • Kagermann WW.H and Helbig J. (2013). Recommendations for implementing the strategic initiative Industrie 4.0- Available from: .

  • Kube G. and Rinn T. (2014). Industry 4.0-the next revolution in the industrial sector ZKG International. 67 (11) 30-32 .

  • Lasi H. Fettke P. Kemper H-G Feld T. and Hoffmann M. (2014). Industry 4.0. Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK 6 (4) 239-242. DOI 10.1007/s12599-014-0334-4.

  • Li X. Li D. Wan J. Vasilakos A.V. Lai C.F. and Wang S. (2015). A review of industrial wireless networks in the context of Industry 4.0 Wireless Networks 23(1) 1-19.

  • Lindgardt Z M Reeves G Stalk and M Deimler (2009). Business Model Innovation: When the Game Gets Tough Change the Game. The Boston Consulting Group. Lu Y. 2017.Industry 4.0: A survey on technologies applications and open research issues . Journal of Industrial Information Integration 6 1-10.

  • Lukac D. (2015). The fourth ICT-based industrial revolution" Industry 4.0" HMI and the case of CAE/CAD innovation with EPLAN P8 in: 23rd Telecommunications Forum Telfor (TELFOR) IEEE pp. 835-838.

  • Mckinsey&Company (2016). Industry 4.0 after the initial hype Mckinsey Digital.

  • Mokyr J. (1985): The New Economic History and The Industrial Revolution Rowan & Littlefield Publishers Inc. USA.

  • Mokyr J. and Strotz R. (1998). The Second Industrial Revolution. Northwestern University p. 1870-1914.

  • Pfeiffer S. 2016. Robots Industry 4.0 and humans or why assembly work is more than routine work Societies 6 2) 16.

  • Pfeiffer S. and Suphan A. (2015). The labouring capacity index: living labouring capacity and experience as resources on the road to Industry 4.0. Available online: (accessed 30.01.16) .

  • Posada J. Toro C. Barandiaran I. Oyarzun D. Stricker D. de Amicis R. and Vallarino I. (2015). Visual computing as a key enabling technology for industrie 4.0 and industrial internet. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 35 (2) 26-40.

  • Schlick J. Stephan P. and Zuhkle D. (2012). Produktion 2020. Auf dem Weg zur 4.0. industriellen Revolution. IM - Fachzeitschrift fur Information Management und Consulting. August 2012.

  • Singer P. 2016. Are you ready for Industry 4.0? Solid State Technology. 58 (8) 2.

  • Varghese A. Tandur D. 2014. Wireless requirements and challenges in industry 4.0 in: 2014 International Conference on Contemporary Computing and Informat- ics (IC3I) IEEE 634-638.

  • Vogel-Heuser B. Hess D. (2016). Guest editorial Industry 4.0-prerequisites and visions IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering 13(2) 411-413.

  • Zott C. Amit R. and Massa L. (2011). The business model: recent developments and future research. Journal of Management. 37(4) 1019-1042.

  • Zhou K. Liu T. and Zhou L. (2015). Industry 4.0: towards future industrial opportunities and challenges in: 12th International Conference on Fuzzy Systems and Knowledge Discovery (FSKD) IEEE 2147-2152.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1460 1203 86
PDF Downloads 1908 1629 182