The four phases of the industrial revolution

The four phases of the industrial revolution

First phase

End of 18th century

Introduction of mechanical production using hydro-electric and steam-powered equipment

First mechanical loom

Second phase

Beginning of 20th century

Introduction of mass production of specialised goods using electricity

1913 First permanent assembly line, by Ford

Third phase

Early 1970s

Further automation of production using electronics and IT

First programmable controller for machinery

Fourth phase


Networking and exchange of information between human and machine

Digital transformation

Whether it be people, data, computers, products or processes: everything is networked – giving rise to completely new challenges for companies. They have to be able to leverage the constant stream of new technologies for their business and keep pace with changing consumer behaviour. Above all, they must be flexible because the speed of change is increasing. At the same time, the implications for the different sectors are not immediately evident and cannot be planned for. For many companies, the digital transformation represents the prospect of new business successes. However, those who are unable to react flexibly to the new challenges will fail.

German companies are just
getting started

How would you characterise your company’s digital transformation strategy?

3% Non-existent

43% In inception

12% Only on paper

42% Successfully established

What role do you see for your company in the digital transformation?

19% Sceptic

42% Fellow traveller

39% Catalyst/driver

Source: Crisp Research AG

Source: Crisp Research AG

SMEs benefit from short
decision paths

Role played by SME characteristics in digitalisation

Benefits of digitalisation from the perspective of small and medium-sized industrial companies

Source: Deloitte

Source: PwC-Mittelstandspanel

Digital transformation means opportunities and risks around the world

Digital density scores in leading economies

Digital density scores (0 – 100)

Making markets

Running enterprises

Sourcing inputs

Fostering enablers

Source: Accenture

Companies must overcome barriers in implementing their digital transformation

Source: StiboSystem