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Digital Ecosystems

German companies are focusing more closely on Industry 4.0

Eight out of ten companies in Germany want to invest more money in Industry 4.0 technologies in 2019 than they did in 2018. Most of them expect that this expenditure will pay off very quickly.

22 Jan. 2019
German companies are focusing more closely on Industry 4.0 (picture: Ernst & Young GmbH)

This is the result of a survey conducted by the consultancy company Ernst & Young . Last year German companies already invested an average of 5.9% of turnover in networking machines, digital twins and cloud computing; in large businesses with over 500 employees, the figure was even as high as 7.5%. Generally companies believe that these outgoings will bring cost savings of the same amount. Whether the anticipated growth is actually happening, however, remains a contentious issue: various studies describe a productivity paradox – falling productivity despite increasing capacity. A heated debate is being conducted about this theory among economists.

In addition to investment in future technologies, the spending of companies on research and development also reached a record high last year. There are three companies from Germany among the international top 20 – Volkswagen, Daimler, and Siemens. The average research spending of German companies, at 4.6%, is above the international average.