The Impact of the Next Industrial Revolution

The Impact of the Next Industrial Revolution

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The Impact of the Next Industrial Revolution


We are on the verge of another technological uprising set to superficially alter how we work, live, and recount to each other. The scope, complexity, and scale of this transformation will be different from any experience humankind has encountered before. At this point, we are not sure about how the revolution will unfold, but the one thing that is certain is that there will be a broad and incorporated response that involves global stakeholders from classified and public sectors, the academia, and civil society. The First Industrial Revolution mechanized production using steam and water. The second Industrial Revolution employed electricity to develop mass production. The Third revolution capitalized on information technology and electronics to make production automatic. Undoubtedly, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will capitalize on the third industrial revolution of the digital revolution. Digitization has been taken place since mid 20th century. The next Industrial Revolution is characterized by the merging of technologies blurring along digital, physical, and biological spheres. The current transformations that people are experiencing today are a representation of a prolonged third revolution that marks the arrival of the fourth revolution, which is distinct. There is no historical precedent of the speed of the present breakthroughs. Compared to preceding previous revolutions, the fourth one is evolving at an exponential instead of a linear pace. Noteworthy, the fourth revolution is touching on nearly all sectors. The depth and breadth of these changes is a sign of the transformations of systems of governance, production, and management systems. This essay highlights the impact of the next industrial revolution on government, people and businesses.

Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the Government

The more digital, biological, and physical worlds carry on to converging new platforms and technologies will significantly enable citizens to voice their opinions, connect with governments, synchronize efforts and get around the management of public authorities. Similarly, governments will possess new technologies that allow them increased control over the people. This is because the will be increased invasive surveillance systems. Governments will also have more control of digital infrastructure. Governments will be under constant pressure to put aside their current policymaking and public engagement approach because their central policymaking role keeps diminishing because of competition and power decentralization enabled by new technologies.

Ultimately, government systems ability to adapt will decide if they survive or not. Those governments that will prove the capacity to embrace a world filled with disruptive change are the ones who will endure. They will survive if they subject their structures to efficiency and transparency, which will enable them to keep a competitive edge. Those that will not evolve will be faced with increased trouble. This will be particularly true for regulation. Current systems of decision-making and public policy have become better with the second revolution, at a time when decision-makers studied issues and developed necessary response and regulatory frameworks. The entire process was meant to be mechanistic and linear meaning that it strictly follows a top-down strategy. But given the rapid pace of the fourth industrial revolution, the approach is no longer applicable. Regulators and legislators are increasingly facing unprecedented challenges and for the better part, they are proving difficult to cope with. This begs the question of how governments can preserve consumers’ interest while at the same time supporting technological development and innovation (Ragulina, Alekseev, Strizhkina, & Tumanov, 2019). This can be done by following in the footsteps of private sectors of embracing an agile system of governance. This includes responding to business operations and software development more generally. Essentially, regulators should be prepared to commit to continuously adapting to fast-changing new environments and reinventing themselves to truly understand what they are responsible for regulating. To achieve this, regulatory agencies and governments will be required to closely coordinate with civil society and businesses.

Furthermore, the fourth industrial revolution will have an immense impact on both international and national security, affecting the nature and probability of conflict. The history of technological innovation is the same history of international and warfare security and today’s situation is no exception. It is worth noting that modern conflicts touching on states are becoming increasingly hybrid in nature as they involve traditional battle techniques and elements previously linked with non-state actors. The distinction between peace and war, violence and non-violence, combatant and noncombatant is slowly becoming blurred. As digitization continues taking place and new technologies, including biological or autonomous weapons continue taking place, small groups and individuals will continue joining states that have the capacity to form mass harm. Worth noting, the new vulnerability will cause new fears. Consequently, technological advancement will increase the potential of impacting violence, reducing the scale because of newly developed modes of protection.

Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the People.

Furthermore, the fourth industrial revolution will not only impact what we do but also who we are. It will impact people’s identity and the things associated with it including consumption patterns, sense of privacy, ownership notions, the time they dedicate to leisure and career, and how they cultivate skills, push careers, nature relationships and meet new people. The fourth industrial revolution is changing people healthy resulting in a quantified version of self, and very soon, it will result in human augmentation (Skilton & Hovsepian, 2018). Worth noting, the list of the impact of the revolution on people is endless and is bound only by imagination. The question that has crossed the minds of many is whether the uncontrollable integration of technology in people’s lives will diminish some quintessential human capacities like cooperation and compassion. One good example is the relationship that people have with their smartphones. People have become so drawn to these devices that nearly all facets of their lives depend on them. People have become addicted to social media applications such as Instagram and Snapchat. The constant reliance on technology, particularly with regards to social media, deprives people of life’s most significant assets; time to take a step back, reflect and take part in meaningful conversation.

Worth noting, information technology poses a challenge to privacy. People should understand that privacy is very crucial and sharing and that sharing and tracking of information is becoming crucial for new connectivity. In the years that lay ahead, debates to do with critical issues of impact of technology in people’s inner lives owing to data loss will only increase. Similarly, revolutions taking place in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology which are giving new meaning to being human through pushing back today’s threshold of health, life span, capabilities and cognition, will compel people to redefine ethical and moral boundaries.

Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Businesses.

A common theme for conversations between senior business executives and CEOs is the velocity of disruptions and accelerations of innovation are hard to anticipate and comprehend. Additionally, they agree that these drivers constantly surprise even the most well-informed and best-connected business executives. There is clear evidence across the boards that technologies underpinning the next industrial revolutions will have serious effect on businesses. As regards supply, many companies now realize that incorporating new technologies can develop new ways of serving various existing needs and significantly disrupt current industry value chains. Moreover, disruptions are also coming from innovative and agile competitors have access to limitless global digital innovations for sales, marketing, research, development, and distribution. These competitors have the capacity to oust established incumbents faster than through improving the speed, price, and quality at which value gets delivered. Additionally, major shifts are taking place as regards to demands as consumer engagement, transparency and new consumer behavior patterns continue forcing businesses to change the way they deliver, design, and market products and services. Another key trend that technology is having n businesses is that it has enabled the development of applications that incorporate both supply and demand of products and services (Morrar, Arman, & Mousa, 2017). These platforms thrive on sharing and demand economy. The platforms are easy to use as they use data and smartphones, making them an easy way to convene people. This leads to the creation of new and alternative ways of consuming services and products. Additionally, the platforms have reduced the barriers for individuals and businesses to create wealth, hence altering workers’ professional and personal environments. These new business platforms are multiplying rapidly and transforming into entirely new services that range from travel to massages.


In closing, whether people realize it or not, the world is currently in the middle of a shift from the simple digitization of the third industrial revolution to innovation-based technology, which is the fourth industrial revolution. The next industrial revolution affects nearly all aspects of people’s lives, ranging from management, governance, and business. The next industrial revolution will have effect people, businesses, and governments differently. It is high time companies realize that companies re-examine how businesses do what they do. The bottom line is that businesses leaders should understand that business environments are changing and digitization and technology have everything to do with it.


Morrar, R., Arman, H., & Mousa, S. (2017). The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0): A social innovation perspective. Technology Innovation Management Review, 7(11), 12-20.

Ragulina, Y. V., Alekseev, A. N., Strizhkina, I. V., & Tumanov, A. I. (2019). Methodology of criterial evaluation of consequences of the industrial revolution of the 21st century. In Industry 4.0: Industrial Revolution of the 21st Century (pp. 235-244). Springer, Cham.

Skilton, M., & Hovsepian, F. (2018). The 4th industrial revolution. Springer Nature.