E-Residency: a business platform for Industry 4.0?
E-government is a popular topic on the political agenda and many countries are working on the development and improvement of e-services. But e-government is more than the provision of public services electronically – it also means the implementation of consequent process-oriented procedures supporting management and organisational structures within public and private institutions. Until now the customers’ needs, especially the requirements of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the context of international supply chains have not been in the focus of most e-governmental service developments. This may change with the spread of Industry 4.0 which aims for the fusion of the virtual and the physical world paving the way to smart production and logistics solutions touching the entire supply chain from product design and development, operations management and logistics to distribution. But Industry 4.0 also requires new business models and structures together with new concepts for managing information and business administration. A first big step towards the implementation of such Industry 4.0–oriented business concept is embodied by the Estonian development of “e-Residency”, which might be an appropriate e-business approach for Industry 4.0 and which takes into account the perspective of internationally operating entrepreneurs and SME’s. Currently, companies start to gain first experience with concepts like production in networks or smart logistics and they begin to develop new organisational structures and models to benefit more from the opportunities that the new technology offers. The paper addresses the research question of how the e-residency concept might facilitate the development and implementation of Industry 4.0 and how entrepreneurs and SMEs may benefit more from new Industry 4.0–related business models by using the e-residency platform of Estonia.
e-Residency, Industry 4.0, e-Services, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Supply Chains
L14 , M21
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