Aras, a global provider of PLM solutions for the design, build, and operation of complex products, surveyed more than 440 decision-makers from 19 European countries. The results, published in the study “European Industry in Transition” highlights that the European manufacturing industry overestimates its level of digital maturity.
According to the study conducted by Aras, European companies have a distorted view of their digital maturity.
The survey was conducted in late fall 2022 by market research firm Innofact, which interviewed 442 executives in 19 European countries. The survey participants work in companies with a minimum turnover of 40 million euros in the automotive, aerospace and defense, mechanical engineering, medical technology, chemical, pharmaceutical, and food sectors.
Although 80% of the companies surveyed claim to be digital, they find it difficult to effectively use and analyze digital products and process data. In 62% of the cases, this is due to the incompatibility of the systems used.
According to the authors of this study, this biased perception of their level of digital maturity presents risks, as it can influence companies’ strategic decisions and limit their ability to adapt to an increasingly competitive and unpredictable market. This is especially concerning as 90% of companies anticipate changes in their business model in the coming years.
In a statement, Fred Weiller, European Marketing Director at Aras explains:
“The increasing amount of data they face on a daily basis apparently leads companies to overestimate their own digital capabilities. 82% of executives surveyed define their company as already digitalized, but this is probably wishful thinking, and this misguided view risks masking future failures. In reality, companies still have a long way to go on the road to digital transformation. The digital enterprise is about much more than data collection, and in most companies, the development potential of new digital business models has not yet been exploited.”
The Importance of Digital Twins
According to the survey, 78% of respondents say that every employee in the company can access the product data needed for their job. However, 62% admit that the quality of this data is poor and 79% complain about the compartmentalization of structures, which results in information being stored in compartmentalized systems at different locations within the company.
In order to remain competitive in the long term, the study recommends that companies exploit their untapped digital potential. To do so, the authors suggest creating a true digital twin along the entire value chain from design to manufacturing and distribution to maintenance.
“Companies must correct the failures of the past as quickly as possible. Future changes are putting a lot of transformational pressure on the industry. For example, 87% of survey respondents believe their business model will change further in the next few years. The change has begun in earnest. More and more companies are already focusing on modern products. According to our survey, 36% of companies are already offering PaaS (Product-as-a-Service) solutions, 35% are in the process of deploying them and 15% are planning to do so.
The full study is available here.