Introduction. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (or the 4IR) emerged quite recently as a concept that describes the unprecedented transition of society towards a life governed by artificial intelligence, hyperconnectivity, and cyber-physical systems. To fully understand it, a short review of the previous revolutionary moments will be illustrated, focusing on their footprint on humanity, as well as on the business sector. After that, a definition framework will be constructed, that shows the structural design behind 4IR, from the fundamental characteristics to the technologies that it deploys. Lastly, as expected, when systemic dynamics are implied, the private sector will be the most reactive actor, playing the role of the transition enabler and the starting point of its dissemination. Therefore, the 4IR impact will be the most evident through the development of new, state-of-the-art business models, that will ultimately ensure the very fast process of adapting to contemporary reality.
Aim of the study. In the current paper, three examples will be described: the digital platform, the smart factory, and the industrial internet-of-things, which are based on five decisive characteristics: connectivity, access, innovation, autonomy, and cost efficiency.