The Challenges of Industry 4.0 for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Despite the enormous economic potential of Industry 4.0 SMEs in industry remain relatively cautious about it. With regard to individual Industry 4.0 processes and technologies, however, it appears that across the board, regardless of company size and branch, little use is made of the evaluation of large data streams to optimise processes or for downstream services. Accordingly, little use is made also of higher level cloud services that are useful for that purpose. It is not easy for small and medium-sized enterprises, due to lack of resources, to assess the technological maturity of the relevant solutions and their business uses. Management lacks a methodical approach to implementation. A lack of standards and norms with regard to interface technologies is another reason why investments in the integration of IT systems are either not carried out or delayed.

Schröder, C. (2016): The Challenges of Industry 4.0 for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Expertise for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on the project a good society - social democracy #2017plus, Bonn.

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