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Workspace IoT Series: How Industry 4.0 Will Transform Your Mobile Strategy

In the enterprise, Internet of Things (IoT) technology and smart connected devices will completely revolutionize how we work, with Gartner predicting there will be 20 BILLION IoT endpoints by 2020. While high costs, protocol fragmentation, and security and connectivity issues have slowed mass adoption of large-scale enterprise IoT projects, a subset of lightweight IoT-type endpoints, called workspace IoT, emerges as the IoT of now. Today, workspace IoT (which includes wearables, peripherals, and single-purpose endpoints) are being used alongside mobile devices, across a variety of verticals and use cases, to dramatically increase productivity, efficiency, and the customer experience.


Workspace IoT Endpoints:

  • Wearables, including smart watches and augmented, mixed, and virtual reality headsets or smart glasses
  • Peripherals, including mobile printers, enterprise sleds, and voice assistants
  • Single-Purpose Devices, including interactive kiosks and digital signage


Over the next couple of weeks, this blog series will cover topics related to workspace IoT, to help you stay competitive and navigate this new and exciting space. Today, we focus on Industry 4.0: the driving force behind workspace IoT adoption.

Throughout history, we’ve seen three industrial revolutions. At the turn of the century, steam-powered machines helped power the First Industrial Revolution which has had a lasting impact on urbanization and how we live. The Second Industrial Revolution was defined by how major technological advances—such as electric power and the assembly line—transformed industries and enabled mass production. From the 1970s to the early 2000s, the introduction of computers, mobile devices, and the Internet ushered in the Third Industrial Revolution, or Digital Revolution. In this age, we equipped workers with devices to increase their efficiency, digitize information, and program machines to execute on repetitive tasks.

Today, we’re on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, referred to as Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 builds on the Digital Revolution, bringing together digital technologies and digital data to create an interconnected, autonomous system where our physical devices can collect and analyze data to make informed decisions. As Industry 4.0 becomes a reality, technologies like big data, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, cyber-physical systems, and IoT will completely disrupt, not only the manufacturing industry, but society itself.

While the full potential of Industry 4.0 will inevitably impact all industries, it’s still an evolving concept that’s several years away for most organizations. However, in its early stages, we see manufacturing, retail, and healthcare verticals embrace Industry 4.0 in specific use cases. These industries are leveraging workspace IoT endpoints (like mobile printers and wearables) alongside existing mobile devices (like smartphones and rugged mobile computers) to optimize business operations and processes.

Watch this interview with VMware EUC Senior Vice President and General Manager, Shankar Iyer, to hear how these industries are utilizing workspace IoT endpoints.

In its early stages, Industry 4.0 will drive digital transformation with tactical workspace IoT projects. Unlike strategic IoT initiatives, workspace IoT projects will be smaller in scale and managed by IT, meaning, they will need to be fully integrated with your existing mobile strategy.

Stay tuned for the next post in this blog series, which will cover the top use cases for workspace IoT across a variety of verticals. In future posts, we’ll also cover the key ingredients to a successful workspace IoT deployment and how VMware Workspace ONE Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) platform can help you secure and manage such devices. Learn more about how businesses are leveraging wearables on the VMware Radius Blog.