The Industry 4.0 strategy we published in 2020 has reached a wide audience, with more than 40,000 downloads to date. Meanwhile, the passage of time has made it clear that the digital transformation of manufacturing companies is no longer optional. Reflecting how the world is changing, I am proud to share the updated whitepaper, The Digital Transformation of Manufacturing Companies: SAP’s Strategy for Industry 4.0.

In this document, we offer an updated perspective on how Industry 4.0 capabilities from SAP can help drive digital transformation for customers. In the light of global disruptions and challenges, companies need to find a path to leverage digital technology for nurturing growth and profitability. A recent study shows that Industry 4.0 shows has significantly impacted productivity and profitability, with 63% of manufacturing companies reporting profitability increase of more than 5% compared to the year before.

Companies successfully deploying Industry 4.0 focus on business value not technology, mobilize and train their workforce on new technologies and processes, and move toward an integrated IT infrastructure and automation technology stack. And they manage the company by data-driven processes rather than transactional processes.

I want to share a quote from Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, who at the Fortune Global 500 Summit in October said, “I predicted in March of 2020 that those who, pre-pandemic, had really invested at scale into technology and enabled digital transformation really had their competitive gap widened, literally overnight. And 18 months in, that’s exactly what we’ve seen. In fact, the gap between those who really are leaders in technology and its adoption and the culture around it [and those who aren’t] has gotten even bigger. The top 10% are performing at five times the rate of the bottom 25%. It’s a huge gap.”

While Industry 4.0 is largely associated with factory-focused initiatives, with SAP’s portfolio companies can expand the digitalization beyond to a company-wide, competitive business strategy combining manufacturing automation with enterprise business information and execution.

To figure out what opportunities for improvement your organization can benefit from, we offer a free Industry 4.0 maturity assessment and gap analysis, designed to help you accelerate your transformation journey.

Franz Hero is head of SAP Digital Supply Chain Development.