COVID-19 challenges: can industry 4.0 technologies help with business continuity?

Amjad Hussain, Muhammad Umar Farooq, Muhammad Salman Habib, Tariq Masood, Catalin I. Pruncu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


The COVID-19 pandemic has halted economic activities and made business dynamics much more challenging by introducing several additional operational, structural, and managerial constraints. The problem has affected global supply chains in many ways, and has questioned their long-term continuity. On the other hand, Industry 4.0 is an emerging phenomenon. However, there is a need to investigate how Industry 4.0 technologies may play a potential role in sustaining business operations to ease unprecedented causalities. The current research aims to investigate the potentiality of Industry 4.0 technologies to solve the COVID-19 challenges for long term sustainability. From an exploratory literature analysis coupled with the Delphi method, keeping in view the situation of the pandemic, ten challenge groups that have affected global business dynamics were identified. A questionnaire was developed with the aim of accumulating industrial and academic experts to evaluate the degree of influence and interrelationship among the identified challenges. The Decision Making, Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) approach was deployed to further analyze the challenges for the categorization of these into causes and effects, further prioritizing them for better decision making. The prioritized challenges from the list of causes were governmental policies and support, followed by real access to customers and a lack of infrastructure. Additionally, these challenges were further evaluated through the expert opinion of Industry 4.0 systems experts and strategic-level supply chain experts to potentially gauge the potency of Industry 4.0 technologies to solve COVID-19-induced challenges. The outcomes of this research (which used Delphi integrated with a DEMATEL approach) are expected to support businesses in formulating strategies with the aim of business continuity in combating future disruptions caused by COVID-19-like pandemics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11971
Number of pages25
Issue number21
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2021


  • Covid-19
  • industry 4.0
  • business continuity
  • business dynamics
  • challenges
  • smart manufacturing


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