Throughout the world, companies recognize that their success depends on adopting the new digital industrial technologies that are collectively known as Industry 4.0. To assess how quickly this fourth wave of technological advances is gaining momentum, The Boston Consulting Group recently studied the status of adoption in Germany and the US.
BCG’s study focused on a survey of more than 600 managers and senior executives representing 312 German and 315 US companies. (See “About the Survey.”) We found that, so far, companies in the two countries have implemented Industry 4.0 technologies at approximately the same pace. However, German companies appear to be better prepared to implement these advances in the coming years, and they have higher ambitions, which could give them an edge as adoption proceeds. Overall, companies see the lack of qualified employees as their biggest challenge in implementing Industry 4.0. Data security and the significant investments required for new digital technologies also ranked as major challenges, although the survey found notable differences between German and US companies.