How can SMEs Harness the 4th Industrial Revolution?

How can SMEs Harness the 4th Industrial Revolution? 

By: Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development
Thought Leadership

“One of the features of this fourth industrial revolution is that it doesn’t change what we are doing, but it changes us!”

Author: Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, BI – Department of Strategic Affairs

The Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab said, “One of the features of this fourth industrial revolution is that it doesn’t change what we are doing, but it changes us!”

4IR is a term initially published by the German government on the Hannover Trade Fair in 2011, is quite simply the use of digital technologies in the manufacturing process to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs.

The UAE 4th Industrial Revolution strategy defines (4IR) as follows: A technological revolution that merges the physical, digital, and biological technologies in order to deliver unprecedented products and services in new and emerging sectors.

There are four main effects that the 4IR has on business—on customer expectations, on product enhancement, on collaborative innovation, and on organizational forms. Customers are increasingly at the epicenter of the economy, which is all about improving how customers are served. Physical products and services, moreover, can now be enhanced with digital capabilities that increase their value.

New technologies make assets more durable and resilient, while data and analytics are transforming how they are maintained. A world of customer experiences, data-based services, and asset performance through analytics, meanwhile, requires new forms of collaboration, particularly given the speed at which innovation and disruption are taking place. And the emergence of global platforms and other new business models, finally, means that talent, culture, and organizational forms will have to be rethought.

According to a research study, the global Industry 4.0 Market was estimated at USD 70 Billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 210 Billion by 2026. The global Industry 4.0 Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% from 2019 to 2026.

How can entrepreneurs benefit from 4IR:

1. Establish knowledge-based companies;

2. Make use of big data and analytics for market analysis and searching for customers;

3. Speed up digital transformation;

4. Take advantage of cloud computing;

5. Invest in automation to expand production and marketing.

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