The key promise of the Industry 4.0 concept is as striking as it is fascinating: we are about to witness a new industrial revolution, fueled by the advancement of digital technologies. The fusion of the physical and the virtual world into cyberphysical systems will have a disruptive impact on every business domain of manufacturing companies. Three years after the advent of Industry 4.0 as a concept it has now developed into a true hype in the manufacturing industry. Hardly any conference, think-tank or exhibition escapes the gravitational pull caused by the promise of a new industrial revolution.
First of all: we strongly believe in the concept of Industry 4.0! Digital technologies already have and will continue to have a disruptive impact on the manufacturing industry, leading to the fourth industrial revolution as outlined in previous studies by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Capgemini Consulting.
However, there is an issue around the current hype: the idea of how Industry 4.0 should actually be addressed becomes increasingly fuzzy. It has emerged in our discussions with clients and partners that there is no common understanding of how the manufacturing business will change and how organizations need to transform. There is a risk that the hype around Industry 4.0 will bypass corporate reality. Nevertheless, the consequences for late-movers are most likely devastating: as in earlier industrial revolutions, organizations ignoring the need for change will be forced out of the market rapidly.
Sharpening the picture beyond the hype
Facing the industrial revolution ahead, manufacturing companies need to start developing a comprehensive vision of how they will run their business in the future. They are required to look beyond the hype and identify which specific opportunities and challenges arise from Industry 4.0. Building on that, manufacturing companies need to define a target picture and a transformation roadmap that outlines the journey with respect to the new
world ahead. In order to provide guidance along this process, Capgemini Consulting has developed a framework structuring the key building blocks of