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Business Model Innovation for Industrie 4.0: Why the 'Industrial Internet' Mandates a New Perspective on Innovation

Die Unternehmung, Vol 2/2016

RWTH-TIM Working Paper

Posted: 28 Feb 2015 Last revised: 29 Jun 2016

Christian Burmeister

RWTH Aachen University - Technology and Innovation Management Group

Dirk Luettgens

RWTH Aachen University - Technology and Innovation Management Group

Frank T. Piller

RWTH Aachen University

Date Written: August 28, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Burmeister, Christian and Luettgens, Dirk and Piller, Frank T., Business Model Innovation for Industrie 4.0: Why the 'Industrial Internet' Mandates a New Perspective on Innovation (August 28, 2015). Die Unternehmung, Vol 2/2016; RWTH-TIM Working Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2571033 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2571033

Christian Burmeister

RWTH Aachen University - Technology and Innovation Management Group ( email )

Kackertstr. 15
Aachen, 52072
Germany

Dirk Luettgens

RWTH Aachen University - Technology and Innovation Management Group ( email )

Kackertstr. 15
Aachen, 52072
Germany

Frank T. Piller (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

TEMPLERGRABEN 64
AACHEN, D-52056
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tim.rwth-aachen.de/piller/

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