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Industry 4.0: A long way to go

Thomas KohlmannNovember 2, 2015

It's considered to be Germany's next big thing for the country's industrial sector. But according to a new survey only few German enterprises have a clue what "Industry 4.0" is all about.

Industry 4.0 logo
Image: Deutsche Messe AG

Germany has dubbed its next industrial revolution "Industry 4.0." In this brave new world, the eurozone's biggest economy will be betting on infrastructure becoming increasingly digital, where more manufacturing machines will be connected via the Internet. German business leaders and politicians have been enthusiastic for years when talking about the possibilities of Industry 4.0.

A long way to go

But when it comes to businesses, only 18 percent of entrepreneurs even know what the buzzword really stands for. According to a new survey published by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, only 4 percent of German companies have started digitally interconnected production or are planning to implement it in the near future.

In the survey, top managers from 4,500 German enterprises were interviewed about the use of digital technology in their companies.

The ZEW study also showed that cloud computing was being used across a variety of industries by a meager 20 percent of companies. On the other hand, 44 percent of German entreprises were found to be using social media apps, short messaging services or blogs.