Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa


Accelerating the Adoption of Industrial IoT by Small, Medium and Macro Enterprises

Small, Medium and Macro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the manufacturing sector are being left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This worrying trend is exacerbating economic inequality, stifling opportunities for social mobility and dragging down global industrial productivity. To benefit from the technological advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, SMMEs will need to overcome a range of challenges including a dearth of skilled employees, lack of access to capital and unclear returns on investment, a need to revamp their firm’s infrastructure and processes, a need to update information technology and operational technology, and navigate a nascent technology landscape that is currently poised to serve larger companies. 

Project Details

Resolving these barriers and bringing SMMEs more in line with their larger corporate counterparts could unlock benefits for a broad set of stakeholders, including increased firm profitability, larger addressable markets for technology companies, expanded tax revenue for governments, and improved environmental and social outcomes for the general public. The C4IR, in partnership with the DSI,  DSBD, and DTIC, is developing a Policy Protocol to help policy‑makers deliver on a more inclusive Fourth Industrial Revolution. The protocol describes specific interventions in four areas:

  • Raising awareness of emerging technology, and IIoT in particular
  • Providing expert support to SMMEs
  • Providing financial support to SMMEs
  • Fostering collaboration environments for SMMEs to learn from one another and build trusted business partnerships