Industry 4.0: Internet of Things, Operational Technology, Integration, and Automation

                It is important to note that the source of the article What is Industry 4.0—the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is Epicor, a software vendor that sells ERP software for manufacturing companies; so the author is not an academic source, but they are a knowledgeable industry source.

                Industry 4.0 is the digital transformation of manufacturing to an interconnecting and interlinking Internet of Things (IoT), real-time data, and cyber-physical systems (What is Industry 4.0—the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?, n.d.).  Industry 4.0 is automation enhanced with “smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning” (Marr, 2018).

                There may be a reduction in staff as a result of the automation and integration in Industry 4.0, but there is a higher likelihood that personnel will be re-allocated to different jobs.  The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests that fewer people will be employed for process-based tasks in factories and offices, but more jobs will be created to build and optimize cyber-physical systems.  Building and optimizing cyber-physical systems will require more skilled labor.  As with previous industrial revolutions, SHRM predicts that more personnel will be required to operate Industry 4.0 environments (Baldassari & Roux, 2017).

                Other sources referencing a McKinsey report suggest that Industry 4.0 and the associated adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will cause 1/5th of the workforce to be impacted and a decrease in staff for 50%of companies. The report forecasts the replacement of 800 million workers by robots by the year 2030 (How Will the Fourth Industrial Revolution Impact the Future of Work?, n.d.).

                There are differing beliefs on the topic, but clearly the types of work in smart manufacturing environments will change, so people that work in these environments will have different roles.  This may require adaptation and retraining of current factory personnel so that they focus on managing the automation systems in Industry 4.0.

                As jobs shift away from the manufacturing line, they will shift toward IT-related jobs, which will increase significantly with the adaptation of robotics and automation.  The robotic revolution will create 100 million new jobs, growing the economy.  Despite the reduction in factor line workforce, every person will be needed to manage this smart manufacturing environment (Roman, 2021).


Baldassari, P. and Roux, J.D. (2017). Industry 4.0: Preparing for the Future of Work. SHRM. Retrieved from

How Will the Fourth Industrial Revolution Impact the Future of Work? (n.d.). Change Recruitment Group. Retrieved from

Marr, B. (2018, September 2). What is Industry 4.0? Here’s a Super Easy Explanation for Anyone. Forbes. Retrieved from

Roman, D. (2021, June 30). The future of work: a look at what the job market of tomorrow might look like. WeAreBrain. Retrieved from

What is Industry 4.0—the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? (n.d.). EPICOR. Retrieved from

Published by Art Ocain

I am a DevOps advocate, not because I am a developer (I’m not), but because of the cultural shift it represents and the agility it gains. I am also a fan of the theory of constraints and applying constraint management to all areas of business: sales, finance, planning, billing, and all areas of operations. My speaking: I have done a lot of public speaking in my various roles over the years, including presentations at SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and Central PA Chamber of Commerce events as well as events that I have organized at MePush. My writing: I write a lot. Blog articles on the MePush site, press-releases for upcoming events to media contracts, posts on LinkedIn (, presentations on Slideshare (, posts on the Microsoft Tech Community, articles on Medium (, and posts on Quora ( I am always looking for new places to write, as well. My certifications: ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Web Application Security Professional (CWASP), Certified Data Privacy Practitioner (CDPP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), VMware Certified Professional (VCP-DCV), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE), Microsoft 365 Security Administrator, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator, Azure Administrator, Azure Security Administrator, Azure Architect, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL v4 Foundations, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner See certification badges on Acclaim here: My experience: I have a lot of experience from developing a great company with great people and culture to spinning up an impressive DevOps practice and designing impressive solutions. I have been a project manager, a President, a COO, a CTO, and an incident response coordinator. From architecting cloud solutions down to the nitty-gritty of replacing hardware, I have done it all. When it comes to technical leadership, I am the go-to for many companies. I have grown businesses and built brands. I have been a coach and a mentor, developing the skills and careers of those in my company. I have formed and managed teams, and developed strong leaders and replaced myself within the company time and again as I evolved. See my experience on LinkedIn here:

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