What restrains digitalisation in the industrial sector?

09-02-2023 | Posted by Principia


Those who offer digitalisation to the industrial sector know it is not an easy task. Despite the need to be more competitive, not just as the basis for sustained growth but for sheer survival, the Spanish industrial sector does not quite bet on digitalisation.

We can think of various reasons, from financial constraints to lack of time for implementation, but the main one is often the lack of a clear strategy, a global focus: some small parts are being digitalised without considering the whole, and how this will help. And the puzzle is hard to fit.

Even so, according to a study carried out by YouGov for Teamviewer, 65% of entrepreneurs believed their companies were in an advanced phase of digitalisation. But reality was rather different, and intention was being taken as achievement: only 30% of the polled companies had initiated a real digitalisation process and only one in ten were in an advanced phase of digitalisation.

Digitalisation and productivity

It is estimated that truly digitalised companies increase their productivity by between 15 and 25%. Costs reduce, performance improves, and efficiency increases. So, why is it that industry does not believe in digitalisation?

Most entrepreneurs would say that the reasons are financial but, on the other hand, they do not hesitate when investing in equipment: they value more the investment in machinery because it is tangible, even if it operates below capacity. “They will fill up”, they claim.

But if investments in machinery are not supported by process analyses and resource optimisation, they become yet another headache that does not improve competitiveness. It is a matter or perceived value: entrepreneurs are unable to understand the value of digitalisation, or we are unable to convey the advantages of a digital transformation.

Then, if we can see the advantages, why not exploit them?

We at Principia have worked with many companies and witnessed the advantages of adopting advanced digitalisation. Previous posts about Ilpea Galvarplast or QEV Technologies indicate that innovation and growth leap when counting on advanced digital tools.

Objections to adopting new technologies arise from fear of change, a common barrier in the industrial sector. But this change, if well managed, reduces inefficiencies as well as internal stresses and personal conflicts, improving the working environment and productivity.

Fear of change, lack of ambition, equipment-centred culture, etc., must all be overcome to survive in the current environment. Because if we stand still, others will overtake us and innovate faster, offer more competitive processes, and sell more. Then we will ask ourselves where we went wrong, but we already know the answer: we didn’t dare to try new things, even when already validated by many users.

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