Is The UK Ready For The Next Industrial Revolution? Check Out What The Experts Are Saying.

Over the years, industries have gone through three transformational changes. The first transformational change was that of water and steam power, and then came the electricity and assembly lines and later the computerization phase. Each phase of transformation brought with it major irreversible impact on Industries, Economies and most importantly, a significant change in our Jobs. These phases of change had tremendous benefits in the world.

With the new revolution already introduced and vastly gaining ground, Industry 4.0 or as some will call it The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the next big wave of change sweeping across the globe.

What is Industry 4.0?

While the waves of industrial change were Steam and Water power, Electricity and Assembly line, then Computerization and Automation respectively, the fourth industrial revolution according to Bernard Marra bestselling author and expert contributor at Forbes introduces the Internet of Systems, the Internet of Things and Cyber Process Systems.

In other words, this revolution introduces Smart Factories, where visualizing entire production chain and decisions making are done by a system that is armed with machines that are amplified with web connectivity.

In his published book titled The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Professor Klaus Schwab, the Executive Chairman and Founder of World Economic Forum, in which he explains that advances in technology are majorly the fundamental differences between Industry 4.0 and previous revolutions further outlines the grave potentials risks in cases of power change and the possibility of inadequacy in part of the government to regulate these technologies properly.

A Game Changer for the UK

The UK’s productivity gap currently has a significant negative impact on its economy when compared with major nations in the world. In fact, the Office for National Statistics, in February 2016, state that the output per hour of the UK is lower than other members of the G7 by approximately 18%. This implies that the long-term ability of the UK to remain competitive is disadvantaged if there is no clear path to maintainable improvement. However, the consistent application of Industry 4.0 can close this gap. A BCG analysis proposes that industrial production will be 30% faster and efficiency will rise to 25% if it is applied over the next decade. This can be a major game-changer for the UK economy.

UK Readiness for the Next Industrial Revolution

These technological differences are already having major impacts on parts of manufacturing industries in the UK, like the Hopkinsons (an industry with over 160 years of existence and have witnessed these major industrial changes). A BCG survey shows that only 5% out of the 70% interviewed industries in five countries have fully implemented industry 4.0. 40% of UK respondents have the expectation that their companies will make significant advancement through the entire range of Industry 4.0 technologies within the timeframe two years. This percentage increases to 65% within five years.


There are some noteworthy competitive advantages in this transformation in the UK. A research indicates that the UK’s internet economy creates employment opportunities for about 1.5 million people hence accounting for a higher percentage of its GDP than any G20 member. This implies that regardless of the disadvantages of Industry 4.0, the UK is indeed ready for this revolution.

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