The Corona pandemic continues to keep the world on tenterhooks. Industry and commerce in particular have been hit with full force by a wave of change – and permanently altered. In a recent Bitkom study, 95% of the industrial companies surveyed said that digitization had become more important in their company in the wake of the pandemic.
“The Corona pandemic shows that digitization not only brings efficiency gains and competitive advantages in normal mode, but is also a highly effective crisis precaution” – Dr. Bernhard Rohleder, Chief Executive Bitkom
In particular, the topics of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things have increasingly become the focus of industry and are now driving companies. Almost two-thirds of industrial companies are now using special Industry 4.0 applications to make production facilities more efficient and networked. Every fifth company among those surveyed is also planning specific projects in this area.
Companies that had already invested in Industrie 4.0 applications before the pandemic increased their activities and investments even more in recent months, while the newcomers are currently planning projects.
Overall, 95% of industrial companies see Industry 4.0 applications as an opportunity for their own company – but only very few would describe themselves as pioneers in their industry sector and see a need to catch up.
“Digitalization is also developing exponentially in production. This means that those who start later will have to work all the harder. Now it is called: be fast”
The Internet of Things also became a more important topic during the pandemic. Currently, only four out of ten industrial companies use IoT platforms, where data from machines and equipment can be collected and analyzed centrally, but every third company plans to use IoT applications in the future.
5G and 3D printing are also gaining importance in industry, and confidence in new and innovative technologies is increasing enormously.
Although the trend sounds extremely positive, despite the crisis, at the same time the companies surveyed by Bitkom feel very slowed down by the issues of data protection and IT security. In many companies, there is a lack of qualified staff who can competently deal with these issues. Feelings of being overwhelmed thus set in very quickly.
The industry would therefore like to see more examples of best practice and a stronger exchange with industry leaders who can help them break new ground and gain knowledge.