In a recent article, \u201cBeyond SMAC: The new platform for digital business,\u201d I addressed how eight foundational disruptive technologies -- some mature, some emerging -- are serving as key elements of a new master IT architecture for digital business ecosystems.\nMore than just the Internet of Things and big data\/fast data\/data analytics, the real potential of the Industrial Internet and Industry 4.0\u00a0(aka Industrie 4.0) --\u00a0the German vision for the future of manufacturing -- will be realized by the holistic combination of this full set of technology enablers to deliver \u201cdynamic, real-time optimized, self-organizing value chains.\u201d\nThe vision articulated by the Industrie 4.0 Working Group in their \u201cRecommendations for implementing the strategic initiative INDUSTRIE 4.0\u201d is a useful example to see how these elements all come together in a powerful combination to enable the fourth industrial revolution.\nVision of Industry 4.0\nFirst, a bit of background. \u201cIndustry 4.0\u201d was coined by representatives from German industry, research, industrial associations and industrial unions.\nThe number 4.0 refers to the 4th industrial revolution -- the theme of this year\u2019s annual general meeting of the World Economic Forum -- and is represented by cyber-physical production systems (CPS) that combine communications, IT, data and physical elements in collaborative inter-company ecosystems. Industry 4.0 specifically focusses on manufacturing, whereas the Industrial Internet is of course focusedon \u00a0a broader range of industries.\nThe vision of Industry 4.0 is to deliver \u201cgreater flexibility and robustness together with the highest quality standards in engineering, planning, manufacturing, operational, and logistics processes.\u201d The idea is that customers benefit from faster innovation cycles and individualized mass production (i.e. \u201clot size 1\u201d), and manufacturers can shorten time to market and optimize and change their processes with ease.\nCompanies digitizing their manufacturing processes expect to increase flexibility and responsiveness, improve quality and reduce defects, and increase efficiency and reduce costs. In fact, a study on Industry 4.0 by PwC indicates that manufacturers expect to achieve up to 18% in increased efficiency and 14% in cost savings by 2020.\nFoundational Technologies\nA key aspect of the technology vision behind Industry 4.0 is that it incorporates far more than just IoT components and big data analytics. In fact, it draws on the same set of foundational technologies that you\u2019ll see in many next generation blueprints for digital business platforms.\nSome of the key elements include personas and context, social business, mobility and wearables, big data analytics, cloud and hybrid IT, intelligent automation, IoT and cybersecurity, as shown in the figure below. In the illustration, I\u2019ve shown the new platform for the digital enterprise as described in my earlier article and have highlighted the key requirements for Industry 4.0 -- as specified in the Industrie 4.0 Working Group recommendations -- alongside.\n Image courtesy of Nicholas D. Evans\nThe Industry 4.0 vision clearly taps into all these foundational technologies and more. The ultimate goal from a manufacturing standpoint is to enable continuous resource productivity and efficiency gains to be delivered across the entire value network, incorporating smart factories and smart products, as well as the Internet of Things, People and Services.\nAccording to the Working Group, smart factories are \u201cembedded into inter-company value networks and characterized by end-to-end engineering that encompasses both the manufacturing process and the manufactured product.\u201d Smart products are \u201cuniquely identifiable and locatable at all times. Even while they are being made, they know the details of their own manufacturing process.\u201d\nKey Takeaways\nOne of the key takeaways here is that, while the IoT constitutes a complex ecosystem in and of itself, the full vision of Industry 4.0, and by extension the Industrial Internet, will incorporate an even broader ecosystem of technology enablers.\nMore than IoT sensors, devices, gateways, middleware, applications and data, it\u2019s important to design for the next evolution of human-machine collaboration and to work in the appropriate technology enablers related to personas and context, social collaboration and mobile applications to enable \u201cunprecedented communications between parts to be created, other components, companies, and end users\u201d in this highly distributed model.\nAs the Industry 4.0 working group puts it, the vision will be characterized by a \u201cnew level of socio-technical interaction between all the actors and resources involved in manufacturing.\u201d\nWith the broad scope of Industry 4.0, within the logical architecture, there will be many different organizations and partners each providing specific products and services. This will need to include the integration of applications and systems which span the factory floor, controls and automation, manufacturing execution systems, and enterprise resource planning as well as a robust base layer of horizontal capabilities such as ICT infrastructure, cloud technology and services, big data analytics, mobile technologies and security, among others.\nMany challenges lie ahead, including sizable hurdles related to security (see \u201cThe wild, Wild West of IoT security\u201d) as well as interoperability. Organizations such as the Industrial Internet Consortium are helping tackle these challenges via their reference architectures and test beds and this will help accelerate market momentum.\nAs these initial barriers to adoption start to become addressed, and with a solid vision and blueprint for the requisite technology enablers to help shape the \u201cbig picture,\u201d the next step for enterprise organizations wishing to move to the vision of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet will be mapping out a strategic roadmap for transformation.\nIt will be interesting to see the outcomes from Davos 2016 in terms of how organizations can begin this transformational journey.