Last Updated 22 Jun 2020

Fourth Industrial Revolution

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Fourth industrial revolution has started talking since 1999 (Abdullah et. al., 2017). It refers to a further developmental stage in the organization and management of the entire value chain process involved in manufacturing industry (AATC Finance, 2015). The Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Said Keruak, had said that Malaysian society must be prepared to face the fourth industrial revolution and all its challenges to continue develop this country (The Malay Mail Online, 2017 December 15).

Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Said Keruak had mentioned that Industry 4.0 would bring important changes to the traditional media industry when people no longer needed the newspaper and started use the smart phone and computer to read news (The Malay Mail Online, 2017 December 15).

As reported by Researchgate (2015), Malaysians are the welcoming lot in embracing new technologies, such that become one of the active users of application like Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. According to Schwab (2016), the fourth industrial revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world.

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The fourth industrial revolution made change in technologies breakthroughs in connectivity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, and other innovative technologies (unicefstories, 2017). As the usage of smart devices, laptops, tablets, and personal computers has expanded, so demand for internet will be increase. According to Ashton (2009), the term Internet of Things (IoT) had created in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, who is the British entrepreneur and innovator.

The IoT refers to things connected to the internet that one can access through pervasive technologies (Atzori, Iera, Morabito & Nitti, 2012). The IoT enables user to achieve their intentions with the click of a button, giving them complete control of devices and apparatus that will simplify their lives (Abdullah, 2017).

The IoT includes all of the devices including some quite intelligent and others quite simplistic, that are now connected to the internet and therefore an overarching infrastructure. According to a recent estimation by McKinsey, the potential economic impact of IoT applications in 2025 is between US$ 3.9 and $11.1 trillion, of which $1.2 to $3.7 trillion is allotted to IoT applications within the factory environment (Zuhlke & Gorecky, 2017 Jan 04).

According to unicefstories (2017), applications of the internet of things consist of smart home, wearables, smart cities and connected car. The smart home is likely the most popular IoT application because it is the one that is most affordable and readily available to consumers. The wearable is also popular among the users. For example, Apple Watch which is no longer just for telling time, but also enabling text messaging, phone calls, and more.

The smart cities refer to the internet of things that has the potential to transform entire cities by solving real problems citizens face each day. With the proper connections and data, the internet of things can solve traffic congestion issues and reduce noise, crime, and pollution. Lastly is connected car.

It considers when vehicles are equipped with internet access and can share that access with others, just like connecting to a wireless network in a home or office. For example is like Grab car services that allow customers books car through Grab's application. In the perspectives of human resource economics, human resource is an important factor for economic development.

For example in Japan and Singapore, both countries were mobilizing their human resources by increase the managerial capacity and entrepreneurship and leads to innovation. Japan also implements consensus system known as 'ringi system'. Ringi system is one of the most important human resource management practices in Japan where decisions are made up with regard to the long term impacts rather than just the immediate short-term impacts.

The transformation of the fourth industrial revolution gave impact to human resource economics, thus, changing the economic development in Malaysia. In the future, human labors are no longer use because all the production lines in manufacturing facility will be taken over completely by robots.

In the long run, using robots in the production will be sustainable because can minimize errors and save costs. This is called smart factory which are highly effective and efficient in technology. For example is smart watch that is able to give four functions such as tell time, text message, make telephone calls and provide health data (Meola, 2016).

The internet of things also intensifies the potential to solve problems which are related to traffic, help reduce noise, crimes and pollution (Abdullah et. al, 2017). Fourth industrial revolution technology helps changing the way we live and work from traditional to modern life. In addition, the future need of human resources in future is important especially in manufacturing sector.

But it helps a lot the business sector where supplier can transform their business models from selling a product to providing a managed service. On the other hand, the products become assets that can connect to the internet straight away remotely monitored by the system (Frangos, 2017 Jun 24).

In the future, this can help companies to better understand how assets are used, minimized an impact, and better understanding of risk and financial exposure (Frangos, 2017 Jun 24). According to unicefstories (2017), Erica Kochi, the Futures Lead, Office of Innovation, UNICEF had stated that the young people will face these two major challenges: (i) industrialization will die out soon since it belongs to the previous generation, thus, killing the jobs that require skill and (ii) the effort to equip youth with the proper skills will be hampered by the absence or lack of suitable education system.

From my opinion, to be a responsible people, we need to prepare young people to be able participate in fourth industrial revolution. Governments, corporations and civil society all must play a role and it requires a dramatically different approach. At the same time, our traditional notions of classrooms and curriculums will need rethinking.

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Fourth Industrial Revolution. (2018, Apr 25). Retrieved from

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