University of Oulu

Mansoori, S.; Khan, I.S.; Ahokangas, P.; Matinmikko-Blue, M.; Haapasalo, H.; Yrjölä, S. Value Configurations for Data and Connectivity Solutions in Digitalized Future Factories. Processes 2021, 9, 2233.

Value configurations for data and connectivity solutions in digitalized future factories

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Author: Mansoori, Solmaz1; Khan, Iqra Sadaf1; Ahokangas, Petri2;
Organizations: 1Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM), University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Martti Ahtisaari Institute (MAI), Oulu Business School (OBS), University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
3Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC), University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
4Nokia, FI-90620 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 27.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-20


The ongoing Industry 4.0 transformation places significant pressures on how businesses create and capture value. Technological advancements such as next-generation mobile communications are reshaping the business ecosystem of Industry 4.0, resulting in emerging business opportunities for new players, such as local operators, to collaborate and compete with mobile communications companies that are implementing I4.0. These changes raise the need to explore emerging business opportunities concerning the digitalization of future factories. New data and connectivity services are introduced to serve the needs of rapidly increasing machine-type communications that rely on connectivity, primarily through the fifth generation (5G) mobile solutions provided by local operators. Thus, this paper outlines the potential value configurations for data and connectivity solutions by identifying, matching, and bridging the utilizable resources and addressable needs within the factory processes. The research applies an exploratory approach and uses the Gioia method to analyze qualitative data of a single case. The study follows the connectivity-content-context-commerce typology (4C) of Internet business models to structure, analyze, and classify the identified needs and resources in future factories from the perspective of the local operator. The findings show that the content layer of 4C business model typology is the most dominant among data and connectivity-based needs and resources of future factories. The paper contributes by presenting four alternative value configurations for digitalization for local operators in the future factory context: the product, component, platform, and complementary businesses. The results suggest content- and context-specific businesses carries foremost business potential for local operators, however quantitative validation will bring fruitful research avenues. Multiple case studies and different data collection methods may also be considered in future studies.

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Series: Processes
ISSN: 2227-9717
ISSN-E: 2227-9717
ISSN-L: 2227-9717
Volume: 9
Issue: 12
Article number: 2233
DOI: 10.3390/pr9122233
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: Authors would like to acknowledge the funding for APC from Business Finland in 5G-VIIMA project and Academy of Finland in 6G Flagship (grant 318927).
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (