New study by IDG Research Services

SMEs need to catch up with Industry 4.0

Norderstedt, April 28, 2017 – Industrial production is now in the midst of a digital transformation. The technological possibilities of Industry 4.0 will be what drives success in future production processes. But what is the reality in German companies? Answers can be found in the multi-client study “Industry 4.0” organized by the International Data Group (IDG). The study asked 339 IT officers in the German-speaking D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) about their plans in relation to Industry 4.0. Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a partner in the study.

As a matter of fact, Industry 4.0 offers a great deal of potential, since traditional production processes are no longer sufficient to succeed in global competition. Instead, companies in every branch of industry will have to lower their costs, improve their time-to-market, enhance their agility, accelerate their processes, and focus more strongly on their customers in the future. This in turn requires IT to be already integrated into industrial production, and here is where big data, IoT, and data analytics play a key part.

The results of the study clearly show: We are still at the beginning of this new Industrial Revolution of our day and age. Industry 4.0 is undoubtedly gaining in importance. For instance, two-thirds of the companies surveyed assume that Industry 4.0 will be important or very important to them in the coming years. However, IDG Research Services, a market research firm, is only expecting a breakthrough a few years from now.

Even though companies are aware of the advantages it offers, the study shows that Industry 4.0 currently plays no part whatever in one-fourth of the companies studied. The unequivocal pioneers in digital production are companies with more than 1,000 employees and an IT budget of more than ten million euros. Small and medium-size companies, by contrast, urgently need to catch up.

Further findings of the study are:

  • Companies will have to up their ante in the areas of production, IT, and research and development if they want to be fit for Industry 4.0.
  • Security is seen as a major impediment. DDoS attacks or being hacked are what companies are most afraid of.
  • Companies see the benefits of Industry 4.0 primarily as a way to optimize the status quo, and less as a way to open up new promising fields of business.
  • When choosing an external partner for Industry 4.0, those surveyed mainly valued technological expertise, trust in the provider, and a good price-performance ratio.
  • A lack of expertise among employees and partners, the necessity of restructuring the company, and the need to change business processes are seen as the greatest challenges on the way to Industry 4.0.
IDG Multi Client Study Industry 4.0

Please download the study Industry 4.0 here (in German).