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According to the German Industry 4.0 Index from business consultancy Staufen and its subsidiary Staufen Digital Neonex , German companies are well on their way to digital transformation. 56% of the over 300 industrial companies surveyed from various sectors have already digitalized their business operations. The pioneers here include, in particular, the electronics and mechanical engineering industries, while the automotive industry – not least due to the growing sense of crisis – is in danger of falling behind.

However, many respondents see smart factories merely as a means to cut costs. Many companies therefore rely on a patchwork of isolated solutions instead of pursuing a comprehensive, and thereby significantly more efficient strategy. When it comes to the development of digital business models, companies do not seem to be making much progress here either: Just as in 2018, only a quarter of companies have digital products, services, and business models in 2019.