a man and a woman sitting at a table using a laptop computer

Are you ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Lieke Meeuwissen

Lieke Meeuwissen

Partner Channel Marketing Manager

Read Time, 2 min.

Of all the burning issues discussed in boardrooms and think tanks, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4) takes top billing. The pace of disruptive technological advances is dizzying. From the Internet of Things (IOT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled process automation, to 3D printing and connected wearable devices, there is a storm of disruption sweeping through many business sectors.

Governments are looking for business partners to solve big problems, such as climate change, sustainable food production and clean energy. New challengers are taking on established market leaders everywhere, from the high street to banking and healthcare. As a business leader, you’re already embroiled in an increasingly disjointed and complex environment.

IR4 is changing the rules

Markets and media are more fragmented. New products and services emerge more quickly, with entire start-ups created in weekend hackathons. Meanwhile, established companies are re-structuring their budgets and teams to be more nimble.

Technology – as in the previous industrial revolutions – is once again changing the face of business. But, keeping up with the pace of innovation and digital transformation is a huge challenge. You have a vast amount of data and business intelligence at your disposal but, like most executives, you’re overloaded with such information.
With less time for critical thinking, it’s difficult to focus in this new, complex landscape. That can be dangerous. Even if your business is successful now, unless you can step back and see the big picture you could find yourself struggling to keep up with market challengers.

For many, the IR4 disruption is happening now and it’s happening fast. Already, the world’s largest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. And the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no property. Your customers are increasingly demanding, and you need to provide greater agility in your business model.

But where do you start? Our research has identified five business growth accelerators:

  • Marketing power: knowing when and how to connect with the right customers
  • Business Intelligence: leveraging data for insight and competitive advantage
  • Future readiness: embracing modern workplace trends
  • Agility: developing the ability to change and move fast
  • Collaboration: employees spend 80% of their time on collaborative projects but need support to do this efficiently.

Revolutions are, by definition, dynamic and disruptive. This Fourth Industrial Revolution offers boundless opportunities for organizations that can innovate and embrace change. However, to do that, they need to adopt continuous learning.

Register for a cloud event in your country

Find the best events and workshops either hosted by Microsoft or by one of our most valued and knowledgeable partners

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • a woman sitting at a desk using a computer

    4 reasons Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop are better together for government agencies

    Government agencies all over the world experience a huge transformation. Obviously, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the trend of remote work has taken off in ways nobody could have imagined a year ago. Since offices closed and civil servants needed to stay in their homes, remote work collaboration was the only option to continue serving […]

  • a display in a building

    How public health and social services can deliver better care with secure digital solutions

    The mission of Public Health and Social Services organisations is to provide the right services to the right citizens at the right time. But how can that be achieved against a backdrop of increasing regulation, growing demand for services and shrinking budgets? That’s the challenge that the IDC white paper ‘Transforming Public Health and Social […]

Healthcare

  • A woman working in healthcare talking to another woman

    How Capio is using interoperability and conversational intelligence to transform healthcare

    “Our doctors and staff were running faster and faster. Like mice on a wheel trying to keep up,” recalls Niklas Sundler, Technology Innovation Director at Ramsay Santé and Capio, as he explains how COVID-19 changed the rules of healthcare delivery as it swept across Sweden in early 2020. “Everything happened so quickly,” Sundler continues. “We […]

  • A woman undergoing a scan

    Predictive maintenance is improving quality of life for cancer patients

    With cancer affecting more than 17 million people annually, a figure set to rise dramatically in the coming years, efficient and cost-effective treatment is essential. Since deploying Microsoft Azure IoT, IBA Worldwide, a leading developer of medical equipment for cancer treatment, has been able to reduce the cost of maintenance and improve repair times for […]

Manufacturing

  • Grundfos plant

    Smart moves help save water, money … and the planet

    Grundfos is a global leader in advanced pumping solutions and water technology. It contributes to global sustainability by pioneering technologies that improve the quality of life and health of people worldwide. As part of these efforts, Grundfos continues to increase the IQ of its smart pumping solutions with the Microsoft IoT Suite and Microsoft Dynamics […]

  • 5 ways you know you’re ready for connected field service

    5 ways you know you’re ready for connected field service

    More and more often, customer satisfaction is becoming the key to success. Emergency repairs often lead to high costs and great frustration for customers, so, understandably, you want to do everything you can to avoid them. Data and the Internet of Things help make this task a lot easier by enabling you to offer a […]

Retail

  • A close up of a hand sewing leather

    Taking design beyond aesthetics with Natuzzi

    Design is more than an aesthetic. It defines the way we see the world. Take the objects we have in our homes. They are more than just tables, chairs and sofas; collectively they are a window into the way we see ourselves, each item selected against a personalised criteria of practicality, comfort, status and cost. […]

  • a person standing in a room

    Delivering seamless commerce with a complete omnichannel solution

    With retail moving beyond a transactional model, customers are looking for retail experiences that meet or exceed their growing expectations. Retailers are tasked with better understanding customer needs and preferences in order to create personalized and friction-free shopping experiences. This is only possible by removing the barriers between traditionally isolated channels, like e-commerce and physical […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Two people inside using Surface Go in office

    How technology is transforming the work of governments

    Governments have the ultimate responsibility to their citizens. People depend on the services they provide like no other institution. Whether in healthcare, education, business, roads, railways, water – it’s essential that government institutions are always at the forefront of social and digital trends. Cloud-powered technologies are playing a critical role in helping government agencies to […]

Digital Transformation

  • Woman clothes shopping

    Italy’s National Chamber of Fashion turns the Milan Fashion Week into a digital event

    Fashion brands all over the world have spent the past year reimagining the industry with a more digital mindset. The disrupting effect of COVID-19 has forced them to keep their stores shut for long months, cancel their fashion shows and make their day-to-day operations much more complex than they used to be. Yet as the […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]