Digital Transformation: the Driver of Italian Companies’ Transformation

by Fabio Massimo Marchetti, Managing Board of ANIE Automazione

A study carried out by the Osservatorio Industria 4.0 of the Politecnico di Milano shows that the number of companies that claim to be familiar with the themes of Industry 4.0 has reached a percentage of 95% (compared to 73% two years ago).

76% of large companies have started at least one 4.0 project, while only 58% of medium and small companies have done the same. Of the projects started, 30% are preliminary analyses, 28% are pilot projects and 42% are executive projects. 96% of the companies that have started projects say they want to start others in order to continue the digitization process. All this tells us that those who left want to continue, but they also tell us, and this is the figure to reflect on, that almost half of our SMEs have not started this path.
The industrial fabric, and also the way of doing business, of the main world economies is rapidly renewing and is doing so mainly by exploiting the advantages deriving from the adoption of the new enabling technologies and, above all, from the great availability of data that allow the processes to be optimized and made extremely efficient.
It is now clear that the need for a profound digital transformation of our production system, and therefore the extended adoption of the 4.0 paradigm, is no longer a choice but a necessity. It’s time to evolve the resilience of our companies and focus it on new horizons that will allow them to compete much more easily and continue to do so in the future. A resilience that is often based on the idea of a possible loss of employment and the centrality of people. But this is not the case, the individual remains, and will always remain, at the centre of this revolution. The revolution creates an “empowerment” of the person making it more evolved, providing the ability to effectively evaluate what is happening and allowing, through advanced operational tools, to react in a very short time. The person is at the centre as employment is at the centre. Recent data show that we have about 400,000 new jobs to cover in digital technologies. A further positive phenomenon is generated by the fact that this revolution allows to bring back to Italy productions that had been relocated (which created a real damage to our industrial system).
So why do we continue not to push a process of reconversion of resources towards these new areas rather than continuously support situations that do not have a future?
It’s time to push all together to ensure that our industrial system can evolve and that our fantastic element of global distinction of Made in Italy has the opportunity to continue to be so over time.