The 4th Industrial Revolution – 4 or 5 is not a problem here!

Digitalization creates Data – enormous amount of data – for you. What if your data was wrong?

Authors: Fred Keßler, M.BC; Gilles Fiorio


Business leaders everywhere in the world are worrying about the competitiveness of their organizations. In unstable markets they need to create strategies to increase (or at least stabilize) their cash flows and compliance. Without reliable information, you are lost! But where does this information come from? What can you do to enable your organisation to give birth to data that can be related to create reliable information? This is where our journey will lead you. Together we will need to go upstream because “if you swim with the stream, you will never get to the source” (ancient Chinese saying).


Against the stream? Yes, some critical reflections will help you to get out of the existing (un)comfort zone that the enduring, braindrilling marketing of the information technology (IT) Industry has put you in.

4th industrial revolution

Everybody talks about “The 4th Industrial Revolution” these days.  Did you ever challenge the count of industrial revolutions? A book with the same title was published in 2016 and the media jumped on the topic – without any reflection it seems. Now let us compare this data with academic research, conducted by the Russian economical scientist Kondratieff. He has focussed on economical macro cycles, called industrial revolutions. Leo F. Nefiodow, also a Russian economical scientist, described these cycles in his book “The 6th Kondratieff”. Based on facts, the 4th industrial revolution took place from 1930 to 1970. It was driven by the automotive and petrochemical industries.

What we experience today still belongs to the 5th industrial revolution, driven by the IT industry and could rather be called an evolution. Where does this false data come from? Very likely from an incomplete or corrupt research process, conducted (or not) by the author. Does the false data do any harm? No, it doesn´t, because you can relate this data to almost any other data and the information generated will not have a negative impact on your decisions making.

Could you imagine that this changes dramatically if some of your processes, e. g. delivery, hiring, innovation, production, sales, strategy, transformation, … were incomplete or even not defined?
What if the data that you are relying on is just based on human assumptions – like in sales? Would you like to digitalize this “process”?

Sorry to disturb you, but exactly this is the case. This is why we need to go to the source together, to where the data is born – the processes. This will be done step by step in the subsequent articles that we are publishing from now on. So stay tuned!


“A process is a series of activities, in a timed logical sequence, to achieve one or more results”.

The reality check on current digitalization approaches does not only reveal that false date “4” related to industrial revolution count, it also displays seven massive inhibitors of digitalization.

While the main goal of digitalization is to create competitiveness by increasing the efficiency through process automation, the following seven major road blocks were (and still are) not taken into account

  1. Corporate cultures are often unfriendly / toxic because leadership skills are missing
    ⇒ Leadership, as the key element for corporate culture needs to be developed
  2. Organizations are mostly oriented on stakeholder value while the ultimate purpose of every organization should be to create customer value
    ⇒ The first transformation, conducted by leaders, needs to create such higher purpose
  3. Neither suppliers nor customers are ready to conduct transformation in a structured way successfully
    ⇒ One more fundamental gap needs to be closed on either side by introducing transformation methodology
  4. Hierarchies, as they occur everywhere in organizations are the no. 1 killer of processes
    ⇒ Companies (suppliers as well as customers) need to transform to process organizations
  5. Business Process Management (BPM) skills are missing on either side
    ⇒ Still another fundamental gap that needs to be closed on either side by introducing BPM
  6. Processes (other than production) are either not existing or not defined.
    ⇒ Management-, Core- and Supporting processes need to be implemented and adopted
  7. Suppliers have no subject matter expertise about (nor interest in) the businesses of their customers
    ⇒ Customer Value Orientation plus Industry focus are key to sound consulting


Most companies are simply not ready for digitalization.


We at Synchrotech desire to nurture every true leader´s striving for excellence. We are convinced that critical reflections combined with aggregation of knowledge and adaption of methodological approaches are much better foundations for strategy development and execution than pure “go with the flow” mentality.


In 2019 we will be delivering a series of articles and events on current CXO-topics, all designed to create an innovation hub with and for our customers, partners and employees.


We cordially invite everybody to comment and discuss with us and / or meet us. Visit us for instance on LEC Exhibition, April 09-10, 2019, Geneva.