Stiel, F.; Teuteberg, F. (2015): Industry 4.0 Business Models in a Sustainable Society: Challenges, Competencies and Opportunities; in: Proceedings zur Wissenschaftstagung 2015 der Erich-Gutenberg-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Köln e.V.: Industrial Internet of Things – Managerial Challenges and Organizational Aspects, Nürnberg, 2015.
The informational cross-linkages between production processes, management processes and web-service led to remarkable industrial-economic changes, summarized by the term “Industry 4.0”. Concurrently, Industry 4.0 pioneers are confronted with a social change towards more sustainable consumption patterns. Since more than 15 years, huge scientific effort was spend on the description and analysis of these patterns as well as sustainable business models. However, the ascertained potentials of sustainable business models are frequently omitted due to settled business practices, distorted accounting and outdated reporting systems. Hence, the field of corporate sustainability holds unperceived opportunities for Industry 4.0 pioneers to adopt these models and turn technical lead into competitive advantage. The work in hand addresses this gap by the following research questions: What are key challenges for business model design in a sustainable society? How can Industry 4.0 competencies help to meet these challenges? What are the sustainable innovation opportunities for Industry 4.0 pioneers? The results suggest that finding novel ways of delivering and capturing value is a fundamental challenge for industrial companies to prevail in a changing society with more sustainable consumption patterns. They need to understand what sustainability oriented consumers want and how partners, production processes and financial structures can make offerings more sustainable.