This week the “Hannover Messe Industrie”, or also called “HMI”, takes place in Hanover. Launched decades ago as a performance showcase for German industry – especially mechanical engineering and related disciplines – the fair has undergone an astonishing transformation. While it was primarily the case that we could forgive ourselves for sheet metal and sheet metal related topics, today bits and bytes are at the forefront. Through trend topics such as the internet of things as well as its German cousin Industry 4.0, HMI is more and more similar to CeBIT. Both shows do not take up too much of the audience. Accordingly, it is debated at irregular intervals to combine both fairs. Due to the factual relationship, players from the digital sector such as Bitkom and PAC cannot be allowed to push their topics on surveys around the fair. In the current reporting, leading representatives of German IT and industrial companies comment on the fact that the first half of digitization has been lost to the German economy, but the chances of a change of sides are good due to their well-founded know-how in development and production. Only drumming or realistic viewing? The best insights from the current studies are presented here.
The investment page
Looking at the figures, a survey by Bitkom concludes that sales of industrial 4.0 products will rise by more than one-fifth (21%) to 5.9 billion euros in 2017. This means that the German market for hardware, software and IT services for industry 4 is again experiencing a strong double-digit growth after the increase of 20 percent in the previous year. For the coming year, an increase of more than 22 percent to EUR 7.2 billion is forecast in the overall market for industry 4.0.
Looking at the different industries 4.0 software, hardware and IT services, the software sector is the most profitable of growing demand. Software, operating systems, tools, applications and vendor models such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are counted. Software revenues are growing from 787 million euros in 2015 to 1.2 billion euros in 2017. A further increase of 24 percent to 1.5 billion euros is expected for the coming year. The largest area currently is the IT services, which include consulting, system integration and the development of individual software solutions. In 2015, this segment generated sales of EUR 2.4 billion, while in 2016 it grew by 21 percent to EUR 2.9 billion. As early as 2017, an increase of 22 percent to 3.6 billion euros is predicted. In the coming year, sales of IT services are to rise by an additional 24 percent to 4.4 billion euros.
The degree of maturity
According to the current PAC survey among 250 business and IT executives in large companies in the manufacturing industry in Western Europe, 72 percent of respondents said they would increase their spending on the Internet of Things over the next three years. They do this with the aim of making their processes more efficient and delivering new, networked products, services and business models. Sixty percent of companies said they have already started IoT projects and are currently in an early, intermediate or advanced stage of implementation. About 70 percent consider the reduction of operating costs as the core of their IoT strategy. For a further 50 percent, the development of products, services and new business models is at the forefront. It is clear at this point that the respondents are looking for innovative methods to optimize their legacy systems and processes while moving up the value chain at the same time. Not yet an innovative approach, but a first step in the right direction.