Manufacturers across all vertical industries are poised to dramatically ramp up investments in smart products, digitized processes and related technologies, skills, and training over the next four years, significantly altering the competitive landscape and putting at risk manufacturers that fail to keep pace, according to a research report recently released by Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The study, “Industry 4.0: Building the Digital Enterprise,” predicts that manufacturers across verticals such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and chemicals will invest on average five percent of revenues between now and 2020 on sensors, connectivity devices, software applications including manufacturing execution systems, training, and the hiring of digital specialists. That will account for $906 billion in annual spending on digitization activities related to Industry 4.0 (also known as Manufacturing 4.0.).
47% of respondents said they expect digitization of their existing product portfolios will generate more than 10% of their companies’ revenues over the next five years, and 42% said new digital services delivered to customers will do so. 72% said they expect their use of data analytics related to M4.0 initiatives will improve their customer intelligence and their relationships with customers. The study also found that, “At least a third of companies in every sector expect to secure efficiency gains and cost savings of more than 20%, and many anticipate that these will be accompanied by additional revenues of the same magnitude.” The majority of respondents said they expect a two-year payback on the investments they are now making.