When looking at the role of metrology in the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ one wonders whether metrology developments are being driven by Industry 4.0, or the other way around. Closed-loop manufacturing quality control is, after all, the art of the possible. For optical dimensional metrology and surface topography, advances in the ‘Internet of Things’ on the factory floor are driving new applications; but at the same time, advances in fast, non-contact, flexible and robust techniques are key enablers for a more data-driven manufacturing environment. In this presentation, we discuss some of the opportunities and challenges for optical metrology in the context of industry 4.0. Key open issues for discussion include the management of huge data sets, instrument robustness, confidence and calibration, challenge of additive manufacturing, and obstacles to industry adoption. We find that the revolution in data use for the factory is a creative disruption in the development of optical metrology, providing new opportunities for innovative solutions.