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An Overview of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Salesforce attended the World Economic Forum held in January 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The forum’s central theme was all about The Fourth Industrial Revolution, with most of the discussed topics spiraling in on this concept.

What is this Fourth Industrial Revolution all about, and why is it important for businesses and consumers? We’ll present a quick overview here.

Defining the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a term that indicates the influx of technological advances that made a huge change in the modern man’s way of life. Notable modern technologies that have been changing the way people communicate, transact business, and generally live life include the following:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Quantum computing
  • Robotics
  • Virtual Reality
  • 3D Printing
  • Genetic Engineering

These advancements in technology have become indispensable parts of the modern man’s life. We just don’t notice that these technologies are already embedded in our everyday lives, such as when we use devices with virtual voice assistants, online maps powered by GPS, and relevant product recommendations on our favorite online shopping platforms.

It was Klaus Schwab who coined the term Fourth Industrial Revolution. Mr. Schwab is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Moving Forward – The First Three Industrial Revolutions

Where did The Fourth Industrial Revolution stem from? It’s from the recognition of the forward advancement of technology and ways of life.

The first three revolutions that represented urbanization and upward changes in technology and business are:

  • First Industrial Revolution – The introduction of steam in the 18th century
  • Second Industrial Revolution – The discovery of electricity in the 19th century
  • Third Industrial Revolution – The rise of computers and digital technology in the 20th century

Importance for Businesses and Consumers

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is important for businesses because it can trigger a rise in global income levels and lessen the costs of trading. Consumers benefit from the revolution as well, as business transactions become more flexible, faster, and easier than ever before.

The Takeaway

Modern advancements in technology paved the way for the entry of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. The term describes the influence of modern technology (such as AI and robotics) to the business world and to the communities. The revolution will likely flourish well into the coming years, bringing more benefits to businesses and consumers alike.

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