The birth of an industrial revolution is triggered by new technologies which produce a new industrial stage when they are able to satisfy latent needs of a society. The history of industrial revolutions is that they expand as such in environments where they satisfy the needs of an “establishment” of a culture.
In the case of the 4th Industrial Revolution it becomes evident that its purpose is to introduce adaptiveness into industrial and business processes.
It has to be considered that adaptiveness, the concept that underlies flexibility, was always a goal in industry but could not be solved without increasing costs and affecting the quality of the produces. Industry 4.0, due to the now available technologies, introduced adaptiveness but also increased the productivity and quality of the produces.
This opened a new stage that was based on industrial processes, although it deals with businesses as a whole. It introduces adaptiveness by managing the concepts and fundamentals of business functions. This allows managing the root causes of processes that increase their productivity, quality and ensure their reliability.
NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute has been, since 1976, the pioneer in complexity science research to deal with adaptive entities and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of adaptive systems and environments. It was one of the precursors of the Industry 4.0 concept. https://www.unicist.org/turi.pdf