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As companies and entire industries continue to deal with the fourth industrial revolution, the next one – Industry 5.0 – is already well on its way. Industry 5.0 is characterized by increased automation, increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and improved connectivity between machines, products, and people. It is expected to bring about profound changes in the way that businesses operate, resulting in greater efficiency, improved customer experiences, and new business models.

During the previous tier, Industry 4.0, the focus was on automating as many manual processes as possible to minimise human involvement and prioritise process automation. Historically, humans have regularly been pitted against machines, with the former being cast aside in a variety of scenarios. In fields such as healthcare, education, and even industry, humans have been giving way to machines, and the trend shows no signs of stopping.

Industry 5.0 reverses this trend: it focuses on finding the optimal balance between machine-human interaction. Industry 5.0 is a new era of technological advancement that takes the next step by leveraging the collaboration between increasingly powerful and accurate machinery and the unique creative potential of human beings. The industry will revolutionise the way companies operate and create new opportunities for growth and innovation.

Key Pillars of Industry 5.0

The idea of Industry 5.0 isn’t limited to “industry.” It applies to every sector and every organisation one can think of — its applicability is significantly wider than Industry 4.0. It is therefore imperative to look at Industry 5.0 from a broad, general perspective that applies to all industries when discussing its implications for strategy. According to the European Commission, Industry 5.0 has three key pillars: human-centric, resilient, and sustainable. All three have significant implications for business strategy.

Human-Centric Strategy

A human-centric strategy focuses on and promotes talents, diversity and empowerment. The most important change this suggests is that people should be viewed not just as a means (like human resources) but also valued as an end. In other words, this strategy encourages the shift from people serving organisations to organisations serving people. This shift in mindset could have a huge impact on how organisations think about and interact with their employees.

This strategy is more radical than it seems, aligning with the job market. Many industries and countries face greater challenges finding, retaining, and serving talent than customers. If this development continues at its current pace, the business strategy needs to give it a proper place within the organisation, and that’s what Industry 5.0 takes a shot at.

Today’s strategy landscape is largely about gaining a competitive edge and using it to create unique added value for customers. This mentality is a driving force behind the work of Michael Porter, the most influential strategy professor to date. If organisations become truly human-centric, though, the first implication for strategy is that it needs to be about gaining a competitive advantage and using it to create unique added value for employees.

Resilient Strategy

A Resilient Strategy is defined by the European Commission as “agile and resilient with flexible and adaptable technologies.” In the wake of Covid-19, global supply shortages, and the war in Ukraine, resilience is needed now more than ever.

Even so, the change is more radical than it seems at first glance. While agility and flexibility are already on the corporate agenda, these in themselves don’t necessarily lead to more resilience. As mentioned earlier, the need for greater efficiency and optimisation of profits largely drives business today, rather than the need for resilience. Efficiency is also the driving force behind many initiatives aimed at enhancing agility and flexibility in companies, particularly in its “lean” version. If anything, this can make them less resilient and more susceptible to failure.

If resilience is to truly be one of the three pillars of Industry 5.0, then strategy’s main emphasis must shift from growth, profit, and efficiency to building “antifragile” organisations that can anticipate, respond to, and learn systematically from any crisis in order to ensure stable and long-lasting performance.

Sustainable Strategy

The concept of sustainability barely requires an introduction in light of current widespread concerns about climate change. But for the sake of clarity, let’s define sustainability as the idea that humans should live in harmony with nature. According to the European Commission’s definition of a sustainable strategy, it is a strategy that “leads action on sustainability and respects planetary boundaries.” This implies, for example, that organisations should pay attention to all three Ps of the Triple Bottom Line and all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Like the first two pillars, this is also a radical change. Even though corporate sustainability initiatives have so far primarily been concerned with reducing damage — or with greenwashing — the transition will still be smoother now than it would have been even a few years ago.

To truly embrace sustainability in a business strategy, however, means moving beyond what is currently known and being done. Truly sustainable companies strive to improve their social and environmental impact instead of just reducing their negative impact. Paul Polman and Andrew Winston call such a way of doing business “Net Positive” in their book by the same name. Along the same lines, John Elkington talks about “Green Swans,” to refer to company-generated positive disruptions aimed at making our world a better place. In other words, strategy in Industry 5.0 means that companies are becoming part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

What’s required in Industry 5.0?

Trained Personnel

Chief Robotics Officer is a new role created by Factory 5.0. They have expertise in fields such as robotics and artificial intelligence as well as knowledge of machine-to-machine communication. In their role at the company, they are responsible for making decisions that are based on these factors.

Employee training will also take a leap forward with virtual education becoming widespread. According to a survey by The E-learning Industry, companies with comprehensive training programs have a 218% higher revenue per employee and a 24% higher profit margin.

Virtual education allows companies to train employees without stopping production, making it a low-cost process. It also leads to safer training, which prevents workers from exposing themselves to unnecessary risks. The resulting interactive learning environments also boost communication and employee motivation.

The generation of myriad employment positions related to the interaction with robotic systems and Artificial Intelligence, among other technologies, is also expected.

The Right Technology

Collaborative, intuitive robots that people can interact with easily are gaining rapid populatiry in all industries. These robots are called “cobots” and are a defining feature of Industry 5.0. This term emphasises the importance of people in robotic technology.

For safety and goal-oriented processes, humans are considered in this technology. In a certain way, they act as apprentices, capable of observing the actions of a human and replicating them, which consequentially helps their operators.

Additionally, Factory 5.0 will expand the use of Digital Twins. Based on a report by Marketsandmarkets, the global market share for digital twins is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 60.6% from 2022 to 2027, reaching USD 73.5 billion.

Digital twins provide visual representations of a product or process, which enables for greater understanding and testing. The appearance of increasingly complex processes will require suitable software that’s capable of managing this vast amount of data and providing human operators with a space that they can use to interact with machines.

The Key Technological Drivers for Industry 5.0

A mix of cutting-edge technology is what propels Industry 5.0. These innovations might completely alter how goods are produced and services are provided, opening up new markets and boosting efficiency and production. The industrial sector is using these technologies to increase efficiency, flexibility, and decision-making.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and ML technologies allow machines to learn from data, make decisions, and improve performance over time. This helps to optimize industrial processes and decision-making, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT technologies connect machines, devices, and sensors to the internet, allowing for real-time monitoring and control of industrial processes. This improves visibility into operations, enabling faster responses to issues and better decision-making.

Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation technologies are used to automate repetitive and dangerous tasks, leading to increased efficiency and safety in industrial operations.

Advanced Analytics and Big Data

Advanced analytics and big data technologies allow for the analysis of large amounts of data in real time. This enables the identification of patterns and trends, leading to improved decision-making and operational efficiency.


Cybersecurity technologies protect industrial systems and operations from cyber threats, ensuring the integrity and availability of data and systems.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows for the storage and processing of large amounts of data and the deployment of advanced technologies such as AI and ML. This enables increased scalability and flexibility in industrial operations.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual and augmented reality technologies are used to improve training and visualization of industrial processes, leading to increased efficiency and improved decision-making.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology enables the secure and transparent sharing of data across different industrial systems, leading to increased trust and collaboration.

5G Networks

5G networks provide increased connectivity and communication speed, enabling real-time monitoring and control of industrial processes and improved communication between machines and humans.

Quantum Computing

Quantum computing technologies allow for the processing of large amounts of data at much faster speeds, enabling advanced simulations and modelling in industrial operations.

3 Essential Facts About Industry 5.0

There are three crucial aspects of Industry 5.0 that need to be understood to be ready for this industrial revolution and its effects.

  • Industry 5.0 is aimed at supporting, not superseding humans: Don’t mistake the upsurge in robotics as an opportunity to eliminate headcount and replace workers who perform repetitive tasks on assembly lines. Manufacturers who appreciate the value of human intuition and problem-solving skills will be in a more favourable position to achieve success.
  • Industry 5.0 is about finding the optimal balance of efficiency and productivity: Industry 4.0 aimed to connect machines, processes, and systems for performance optimisation. Industry 5.0 advances such efficiency and productivity. It focuses on improving how people and robots collaborate.
  • The progress of Industry 5.0 is unavoidable: Once technology is used to make a process more efficient, there’s no point in reverting to the old way of doing things. This is the reason typewriters have been replaced by computers with word-processing software. Similarly, Industry 5.0 is the manufacturing world’s event horizon.


Planning and preparation that is appropriate to each manufacturer’s needs and desired results will be necessary to meet these and the many other difficulties and possibilities that Industry 5.0 inevitably delivers. It’s not a matter of whether a company can profit from having humans work alongside robots; rather, it’s a matter of how they can most effectively use emerging technology to get the best results from human-machine interactions.

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