Round Table 2017

The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 (i4.0), involves changes in several aspects of the
organisation, economy, and society. The Hannover Fair in 2013 introduced the concept of i4.0. This
has opened new perspectives for industrial organisations but also to other types of enterprise and
institutions. However, the focus of many professional assemblies, conferences, and academic
manuscripts is related with the technological aspect of the topic. The contemporary body of
knowledge lacks a specialisation on issues related with management, economy, and society.
Therefore, our i4.0 research investigates the digital transformation of companies, the economy, and
society in general.

The Round Table conducted during the Conference is the result of more than two years of research
and comprehension as to the application of this concept in the Czech Republic. Subsequently,
representatives of companies that currently develop i4.0 projects and deployments were invited to
share their views and opinions during the Round Table session. In addition, we were extremely
pleased to have among our Round Table participants, two expert members from China who were
equally presenters on the topic during the academic sessions.

The Round Table comprised three main sections. The first segment of questions establishes the
relationship of each speaker with the i4.0 concept. The second, includes questions as to the current
situation of i4.0 at each organisation. The third collects future perspectives of the speakers in
relation with management, economy, and society post-implementation of i4.0. Each section explores
the topic with the aid of the following questions:


  • Please, introduce yourself, your company, and the background in relation to Industry 4.0 or
    digitalisation and the automation trend.


  • What is Industry 4.0 – digitalisation/automation for you and your company? Have you and
    the company, altered your perception of Industry 4.0 throughout time?
  • Is the perception of your company somehow different when compared with that of your
    business partners (suppliers, customers) or competitors?
  • What is the role of corporate governance in the development of Industry 4.0 in your
  • Why is Industry 4.0 considered to be quite a vague concept or sometimes even a buzzword?
  • What were/are the main incentives for the company regarding Industry 4.0, to embed within
    your strategy; possibly start the transformation of your operations to comply with the
    Industry 4.0 concept?
  • How is Industry 4.0 proliferated across your company?


  • Where did you start with the transformation to Industry 4.0 in the Czech Republic / China?
    How far are you with the transformation today? How is with your major business partners?
  • Can you outline the major obstacles encountered within the transformation?
  • Generally, what are the major barriers in the transition process to Industry 4.0? In your view, how are they specific to the Czech Republic / China?
  • Have you had to change the guidelines to evaluate and select in evaluation and selection of investment projects in your company? (Many of the innovations associated with Industry 4.0 are associated with high investment and a lengthy ROI. This commonly disqualifies them from project approval.)
  • Have you created a road map for Industry 4.0? If so, please introduce the main milestones.
  • Have you analysed if, and to what extent Industry 4.0 modifies your business model? How
    relevant is this to your business partners?
  • Can you specify which technologies (disruptive technologies of Industry 4.0) are relevant
    today and those within 5 years for your business and your business partners?
  • What are the major attributes of corporate culture that are relevant to effective Industry 4.0
  • Have you changed the requirements of new job applicants regarding industry 4.0? Do you
    demand more technical and IT skills and competencies than in the past?
  • How many university graduates adhere to the job market requirements? How should
    university-level education be modified? To what extent is your company prepared to
    participate in the educational process to enhance the adherence of graduates to the job


  • Do you think that companies in the Czech Republic respond adequately to Industry 4.0?
    What are the consequences on a macro and corporate level?
  • What is the role of the government in the transition to Industry 4.0?
  • How much has the Czech / Chinese government managed to meet business requirements?

The session was chaired by Dr. Petr Jirsák.

Photo Gallery