The consulting firm Staufen regularly examines the progress of digital transformation in German industry. The current 2018 survey found that more than half (52 %) of all companies surveyed were at least pursuing individual projects in the context of a modern Industry 4.0 approach. The comparable value in 2014 was only 15%, while today only a tenth of companies surveyed completely refuse modernization.
The pioneers in implementing individual projects are mechanical and plant engineering companies as well as the electrical industry; in both cases their networking is heterogeneous and thus focuses on selective adaptations. By contrast, the automotive industry has already implemented general operational concepts thanks to its predominantly homogenous networking. Nevertheless there remains room for improvement when it comes to developing digital products and applications, industry 4.0-related solutions, and, above all, digital business models, which only 5% of respondents are implementing at this time. German companies are increasingly calling on external consultants for help with digitization projects: according to a recent Bitkom study , 43% of companies are doing so.