COVID-19 – An ill wind to fan the flames of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Whether one identifies the trigger point as the advent of broadband, or the dawn of the social media age or the explosion in smartphone usage, we are now at least fifteen years down the path towards the Enterprise 4.0 era.

The pursuit of largely technology-drive digital transformation to date has, however, often resulted in anarchy leaving in its wake unruly digital development far-and-wide across organisations. These proliferations of “Simple” digital point solutions have collectively failed to yet deliver fundamental business change. Beyond this, many companies have simply lacked the confidence, motivation and raw courage required to address the wider structural, cultural and behavioural challenges required to enact radical reinvention. The wheels of the fourth industrial revolution for the vast majority of established enterprises have been turning at a relatively modest pace.

But this was before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic…

This document seeks to explore whether one of the likely by-products of Covid-19 crisis will be to change materially the trajectory and velocity of the shift to the Enterprise 4.0 era. It therefore focuses on shape of “Complex” digital services demand as we entered the pandemic, assesses the factors that had been conditioning its progress, and considers how these may now be altered going forward.

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