Industrie 4.0 affects not only traditional industries such as mechanical and electrical engineering: smart factories and production workflows will also become more common in other areas, for example the agricultural industries, as agricultural machinery becomes more digitally connected. In short: we will see the impact of Industrie 4.0 wherever digital technology can be used to make industrial processes ‘smarter’.

Industrie 4.0 gives rise to completely new business models. Software skills and knowledge about digital technologies have become critical parameters in determining the success of a company. Companies – from start-ups, to small and medium-sized enterprises and multinationals – that collect and process data in a smart manner have completely new opportunities to provide customers with products tailored to their needs. In addition, digitalisation allows for the development of smart applications, such as solutions that are based on the information that is collected over the entire lifecycle of a smart product.

This also means that, as the level of interconnectedness and the amount of data that is exchanged grows, the level of security that is required in Industrie 4.0 will increase as well. IT security needs to be taken into account from day one. It is not only facilities and products, but also data and expertise that need to be protected against unauthorised access and misuse.