Study

Technological trends for Industry 4.0

Degree of maturity and economic importance for companies

Industry 4.0 promises the industry attractive opportunities to use new capabilities for networking, information transparency, technical assistance and decentralized decisions. It should not, however, be an end in itself for the companies. Instead, it must be closely tied to clear economic objectives and potential. Industry 4.0 offers industrial companies the opportunity to increase efficiency, boost turnover with new business models and product innovation and increase production flexibility. This provides the opportunity for better differentiation in global competition.

One of the greatest challenges for companies is to recognize technological trends and their significance for business management in good time, to make the resources available that are necessary for development and utilization of these trends and thus arm themselves for future challenges. The study “Technological trends for Industry 4.0” identifies the economic potential of technological trends and takes stock of the current Industry 4.0 situation. The results provide valuable insights for companies so that they can better orient themselves within the spectrum of different approaches and concepts. Furthermore, best practices can be derived on the basis of successful companies. The study is a joint effort of Horváth & Partners, Deutschen Messe AG and EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht. Over 100 decision-makers from the industry were surveyed about their degree of maturity and assessment of their potential.

The following key findings result from this:

  • Every third company has marketable “Smart Products” in their offerings – Industry 4.0 has become mainstream
  • Use of Industry 4.0 technologies will gain tremendous significance in the next three years during the realization of efficiency and turnover potential
  • Investments in “Data-Driven Services” and “Smart Operations” are particularly worthwhile
    The high degree of maturity of medium-sized companies stands out in particular – they profit from innovative approaches and fast implementation
  • Basic technologies make up the backbone of Industry 4.0 today and tomorrow¬ – but connected, intelligent products and product systems are gaining significance
  • A clear technology strategy holistically integrated into the overall corporate digitization strategy is necessary to define a company’s own Industry 4.0 footprint and new business models
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