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Martina Weidmann

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T-Systems survey sees Industry 4.0 with room for more

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  • Development of new business models is driving digitalization
  • Only every second industrial enterprise is already implementing digitalization projects
  • Obstacles include a lack of expertise and technical prerequisites 

Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and the Smart Factory – Industry 4.0 is the talk of the town in the run-up to Hannover Messe. But how far have German industrial enterprises really come in terms of digitalization? Some 47 percent of companies have not yet initiated any digitalization projects. And only 30 percent have progressed beyond the pilot phase to live operations in projects of this kind. Alongside the ongoing shortage of specialized staff (16 percent), German industrial companies see a lack of data transparency (14 percent) and consistency (11 percent) and customer-specific production (10 percent) as the current challenges to their operations. This is the finding of a survey by publish-industry commissioned by Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems Multimedia Solutions. 

For 30 percent of respondents, the development of new business models is driving digitalization. Digitalization is a response to direct customer requirements in just one of four companies. When asked about the reasons why no digitalization processes have so far been initiated in their companies, respondents cited above all a lack of expertise (18 percent) and technical prerequisites (16 percent). However, high investment costs (14 percent), unprofitability (14 percent) and uncertainty about future standards and developments (10 percent) also played a huge part in this.

While 53 percent of respondents have already successfully addressed these prevailing challenges in at least pilot projects, two thirds of all companies still capture their production data manually rather than automatically in real time. Only half of respondents systematically use cloud services for data storage and processing in their production environment.

“The hype surrounding Industry 4.0 and the reality within companies still do not quite equate,” says Peter Klingenburg, managing director of T-Systems Multimedia Solutions. “For example, it is clear that there is plenty of understanding and enthusiasm, but also uncertainty and questions. Above all, the complex issues that come under the heading of digitalization have to become more tangible and understandable for managers in industry and production. This will also enable us to minimize concerns about expertise, costs, and IT requirements.” In December 2017, 73 managers from German industrial enterprise were surveyed. 

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Hannover Messe 2018

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