This paper focuses on the transformation occurring in the value creation networks in the industrial automation sector. The main underlying factor for the change is the growing importance of software as a part of the automation systems. Our perspective in the network analysis is the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) point of view. We start by discussing the key concepts related to value creation networks, and continue by presenting the main findings of our empirical study that involved both interviews of industrial professionals and a survey of automation-related literature and Web sites. Based on the empirical data, we identify a three-tier architecture of automation systems, and emphasise its significance in understanding and analysing the occurring changes in the value creation networks. It is concluded that further research is required to specify the proposed value creation principles, drivers and dynamics within the networks, although initial indications are promising.