Corona accelerates the digitization of industry: Mobile and flexible IT helps companies through the crisis

Economic crisis, Businessman using mobile smartphone analyzing sales data and economic graph chart that is falling due to the corona virus crisis, Covid-19, stock market crash caused.

Corona makes German industrial companies more digital: The majority of medium-sized industrial companies are increasingly relying on digital processes. Mobile and flexible IT helps companies across the pandemic.  Corona accelerates the digitization

These are the results of the representative Telekom study “Digitization Index for SMEs 2020/2021”. Compared to the previous year, the industry’s digitization index rose by three points to the index value of 62. The cross-sector digitization index thus ranks industry among the most digitized areas in medium-sized companies. 

Digitization Index 2020 - these are the changes compared to 2019

Digitization Index 2020 – these are the changes compared to 2019

It is gratifying that the majority of industrial companies are sticking to their investment projects despite Corona,” says Christina Langfus, Head of Sales for Large Customers at Telekom Deutschland. “All in all, Corona has ensured that the digital transformation is picking up speed. Regardless of this, digitization increases sales, quality and customer proximity.

The companies invested primarily in mobile devices. Applications for collaboration and web conference solutions were also in demand. This enabled companies to work efficiently from their home office – above all the digital leaders: The ten percent of companies with the highest degree of digitization increased their degree of digitization to 86 index points.

Industry-typical technologies manifest digitization

In addition to the pandemic-driven investments, the companies focused on digital solutions along their value chain. This includes remote monitoring, control and access to devices, machines and systems. Almost every third company already uses such technologies. This increased their productivity by 81 percent. 79 percent reduced downtime.

Digitization Index 2020: This is how companies reacted to the crisis

Digitization Index 2020: This is how companies reacted to the crisis

Companies digitize business models 

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, industrial companies have concentrated on developing and offering purely digital products. This creates the basis for new, digitally supported services. In addition, 41 percent of companies are increasingly using digital platforms such as comparison and rating portals, search engines, sharing platforms, app stores or online marketplaces. Companies use digital channels and social networks to market products and services. They communicate the latest offers online or advise their customers online via video. A stable and secure network infrastructure is therefore required.

Advantage for digital leaders Corona accelerates the digitization

88 percent of the top digitizers stated that they were able to react quickly and flexibly thanks to digital solutions. On average, only 41 percent of all industrial companies agreed. The digital leaders also generate better results. This applies to sales, turnover, profitability and product and service quality. 

Digitization Index 2020 - investment priorities have changed

Digitization Index 2020 – investment priorities have changed

Influence on willingness to invest

The corona crisis is also forcing industry to do the balancing act between saving and investing. 22 percent of companies have to reduce their IT investments due to Corona – by an average of 28 percent. 56 percent of companies stick to their IT budget. 22 percent even want to ramp up their investments. The focus is on equipping employees for flexible work. This includes mobile devices, communication and collaboration tools and VPN solutions. Companies want to invest more in these technologies in 2021 as well. The topic of security and data protection remains a constant issue. Augmented, virtual and mixed reality applications (AR / VR / MR) offer a lot of potential for optimizing business processes after the pandemic. Technologies that can be used in a variety of ways: For assembly and maintenance work as well as for conveying learning content, for example in training and further education. In addition, AR and VR applications help avoid errors in production. Corona accelerates the digitization


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