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Challenges of digital transformation and the role of financing

Industry 4.0 offers the ability to digitally link people, machinery and systems. But what are the challenges to digitalization, and how do manufacturers overcome them? 

Practical Pathways to Industry 4.0

New research from Siemens identifies six key challenges for manufacturers to a successful transition to Industry 4.0 and how to build a practical plan to access the benefits that come from being a digtalized, automated organization.



Digital transformation is no longer an option: it’s an imperative. Finance from Siemens enables manufacturers to drive digitalization.

Jonathan Andrew, CEO Commercial Finance, Siemens Financial Services

What you should know

  • Manufacturers from across the globe identified the six key challenges to digital transformation

  • The study continues by suggesting a sustainable plan for Industry 4.0 adoption

  • Innovative financing can play a critical role in overcoming the obstacles to digital transformation

Video interview: Jonathan Andrew shares his thoughts about digital transformation

Key challenges

What are the key challenges to Industry 4.0?

The top two major obstacles to a successful transition to Industry 4.0  are digital skills and access to finance for the scale of investment.


Challenge #1: Digital skills


The highest-ranking issue was digital skills. Three key areas of digital skills were specifically identified where there is already a shortage: 

  • digital production expertise
  • digital maintenance 
  • operating and strategic analytics



Challenge #2: Access to finance for the scale of investment


The second-greatest challenge to Industry 4.0 adoption was identified as the need for access to finance for the scale of investment over time in digital and automated technology platforms. 


Learn more about all six obstacles
Download the whitepaper

Sustainable plan

How do you create a sustainable plan for Industry 4.0?

Building a sustainable plan for Industry 4.0 cannot be reduced to a single, simplistic formula, however the research identified process, key questions to develop a plan and further insights such as:



Consider financing options and strategy development simultaneously as the first step

As a strategic first move, manufacturing organizations should seek to understand the potential access points to financing for digital transformation.


Establish concrete measurements for every phase of the plan

Measuring the return on investment from each stage of an Industry 4.0 plan is important. Without this rigorous approach, there is no opportunity to clearly evaluate success or failure from each phase.


Develop ‘digitally fluent’ leadership

A digitally fluent workforce has extends to members of the senior management who have to understand the digitalized environment in order to successfully lead an Industry 4.0 enterprise.

Read the whitepaper and register for a practical worksheet that will help you plan for Industry 4.0 plan