It’s no secret 2020 has been a tough year for businesses. But while
many focus on the challenges, it’s important to remember the year has
provided opportunities in equal measure.
Industries around the globe have struggled to adapt their processes in
the wake of COVID-19, and new technologies are being implemented
and tested, even as we speak. These technologies can accelerate
Industry 4.0 by leaps and bounds.
New Milestones for Industry 4.0: 5G and WiFi 6
In particular, 5G and WiFi 6 are being implemented around the world,
with big (and transformative) possibilities on the horizon. These new
communication standards have the potential to increase information
transfer speeds and improve automation capabilities for all kinds of
Together, 5G and WiFi 6 will usher in faster connectivity than anyone
has seen. This is exactly what the world needs in a post-pandemic era
of remote workplaces and long-term displacement.
And while the needs for these advancements are accelerated by our
worldwide requirements for safe, remote work options, it’s worth
noting the Fourth Industrial Revolution was well on its way even
before the pandemic. Process acceleration has long been the name of
the game in industry 4.0, a trend that includes a broad range of
technologies for different verticals:
- Advanced data analytics
- AI (artificial intelligence)
- End-to-end process visibility solutions
- Machine learning
Companies have spent years leveraging these technologies and
transforming their operations for better business efficiency, product
speed-to-market, and data analysis across the board.
Communication Technology Is the Missing Link
A defining feature of industry 4.0 compared to its predecessor is the
ongoing accumulation and use of data, primarily driven by
internet-of-things (IoT) integration.
Companies hoping to compete in a data-centric landscape need
technology that allows fast use of production information at all times,
no matter where they or their workers are located. Essentially,
technology like AI and big data are crucial for a successful business.
This is just one reason why 5G and WiFi 6 will harmonize the
Industry 4.0 landscape. Many of these technologies are already in
place for manufacturing and supply chain optimization. The only
limitations have been the companies’ ability to transfer and make
sense of the data.
On that score, startups are in an ideal position to join – and help direct
– the Industry 4.0 ecosystem.
The Future of Startups in Industry 4.0
Consider how certain verticals, such as manufacturing, have taken a
conservative approach to digital transformation. They’ve worked the
same way for years, upgrading slowly but neglecting the automation
and connectivity potential that exists in the 21st century. Startups and
young entrepreneurs with a finger on the pulse of Industry 4.0 are
uniquely placed to create an impact on these more-traditional
…And investment in the field of Industry 4.0 is growing fast.
The Industry 4.0 global market size had an estimated value of $71.7
billion in 2019, with projections showing a CAGR of 16.9% from
2019 to 2024. By then, the market is forecasted to reach $156.6
billion globally; more than double its current valuation in just five
This growth is an inflection point for startups hoping to establish
themselves in the Industry 4.0 ecosystem. It pays to choose your
partners carefully, particularly in the early days of your pre-chasm
startup journey (and especially in industrial verticals). The right
investors can open a world of new possibilities for your company, but
there are more benefits than money in the bank.
An investor should be a partner in the process; a guide that offers your
company the flexibility to pivot together and explore solutions to both
new and old problems. There’s no other way to stand out in competitive verticals that demand the right solutions for the right market at the right time.