What Is Industry 4.0?

What Is Industry 4.0? December 29, 2018

Industry 4.0 started as a collective German effort to make a transition to a digital, internet-connected future.

This came about because Germany is very good at making things. It manufactures as much as the UK, France and Italy combined. Manufacturing makes up a quarter of Germany’s GDP, and it exports lots of it — all high quality stuff.

But Germany is scared that digitalization is a threat to its industrial leadership. Why? Because the rules in consumer-oriented industries are changing, and simply making things is beginning to matter less than understanding how people actually use them.

Take German cars, for example. Making them employs one in seven workers there. A new Mercedes generates a staggering 25 gigabytes of data per hour of driving. More importantly, this data will determine how future cars are designed.

But the user experience isn’t Germany’s forte. So the question is, will German automakers become simple constructors while US (and perhaps Chinese) companies get rich by knowing what people do with the data generated by their cars?

The bottom line: If you’re a company with a data-driven service or innovative software for industry, there’s an enormously lucrative market in Germany waiting for you!

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