Businesses investing big money in digitisation processes

Digitisation of businesses, a process popularly called Industry 4.0, is already high in adoption, but the rates will go even higher in the next five years.

Those are the results of a new global report by PwC. The report, entitled Industry 4.0: Building the Digital Enterprise, surveyed more than 2,000 global companies across nine industry sectors.

According to the report, 33 per cent of global firms rate their digitisation levels as high, but the value will go even higher, to 72 per cent, for the next five years.

Among UK businesses, the number is even higher – 74 per cent of UK firms expect extremely high levels of digitisation by the time we reach 2021.

Industry 4.0, Industrie 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, is a collective term embracing a number of contemporary automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies, Wikipedia explains.

Companies worldwide are looking to invest five per cent of their digital revenues, every year, on digital adoption. The report says this puts the number firmly at $907 billion every year. UK firms are expected to invest approximately 2.5 per cent of their yearly digital turnover.

“With those UK firms surveyed giving a self-rating of less than 20 per cent, it raises the question of whether they are downplaying their current digital capabilities or simply have a major hill to climb,” says Bjorn Johansson, director at Strategy&, part of the PwC network in the UK.

“Their level of ambition is less ambiguous, with around three quarters expecting to show high levels by digitisation and integration over the next five years –a significant increase. Through our interviews it is clear that our industrial leaders are already shifting gears as they look to digitise essential functions within their internal vertical value chain. They are also challenging their organisations to identify and make use of new technologies and analytics to optimise and manage their extended supply chain.”

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