Business Model Innovation for Industrie 4.0: Why the 'Industrial Internet' Mandates a New Perspective on Innovation
Die Unternehmung, Vol 2/2016
29 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2015 Last revised: 5 Jun 2020
Date Written: August 28, 2015
Industrie 4.0 (I40), i.e. the implementation of cyber-physical systems along the entire value chain and a far reaching digitalization of products and processes, is regarded as a significant agent of change in our current industrial system. While the previous discussion of I40 has been centered on technologies and standards, our focus is on business models (BM) for and enabled by I40. Having the right I40 BM will ultimately decide about companies’ market positions and profitability. This calls for a systematic process for business model innovation (BMI). The previous academic literature has offered mostly conceptual reviews to date. Empirical analyses of management approaches and processes applied for BMI are scarce. Based on an exploratory research design, we present the results of a comparative interview study with large companies and industry associations. We analyze I40 business model characteristics, provide an in-depth perspective of companies’ processes, structures and tools for BMI and derive upcoming practices as well as key competencies for BMI in the course of I40. Our results indicate a diverse picture. While some companies have dedicated BMI structures in place and lead I40 BMI, others could benefit from complementing existing product and service development with a systematic approach to BMI, building the fundamental capability to exploit the opportunities of I40.
Keywords: Business Model innovation, Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet of Things, Cyber-Physical Production Systems, qualitative research
JEL Classification: M10, M13, M31
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