oa Journal of Contemporary Management - Technology readiness : a precursor for Industry 4.0

Volume 17 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and its impact on organisations is currently a topic for discussion. There is no consensus on what constitutes the 4IR and whether South African organisations are ready for the envisioned changes brought about by this revolution. Literature suggests that technology will be a driving force of the 4IR. The combination of technologies that enable the new digitalisation used is Industry 4.0. This research aimed to determine the level of usage of Industry 4.0 technology concepts within organisations in order to understand their readiness towards these technology concepts. The results indicate that there is confusion amongst scholars around terminology i.e. Industry 4.0 versus the 4IR. It also indicates that organisations have not implemented the technology concepts associated with the 4IR and that the driving forces for implementing technology concepts is based on operational aspects and not strategic aspects. The results suggest that organisations are so immature in the implementation of these technology concepts that it is impossible to determine their readiness. Firstly, this article clarifies the relationship between the concepts of Industry 4.0 and the 4IR and secondly, whether South African organisations have implemented Industry 4.0 technology concepts. This is important as the one (Industry 4.0) is a precursor for the other (4IR).

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