Industry 4.0, the state of the art in Italy

The survey promoted by Politecnico di Milano highlights the efforts that Italian SMEs are making to hook the Industry 4.0 train

Industry 4.0 with its advantages and revolutions is changing the context of investments and actions undertaken by Italian SMEs. Until 2016, most small businesses hardly bet on new technologies and new production systems, but now the music is changing.

In the last period in our country, Industry 4.0 has not only led to an entrepreneurial ferment that will allow the affirmation in the market of new realities, but it has also allowed the creation of a new professional figure, currently highly sought after. We are talking about the consultant for companies able to ferry companies from a pre-digital era to a phase characterized by automated production and distribution techniques connected to the Net. At least, this is the picture that emerges from the Industry 4.0 Observatory Report promoted by the Observatory of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano.

The survey on manufacturing SMEs

The survey, which is now in its second year, involved 241 manufacturing companies in our country. The main purpose of the research was to verify at what point is the adoption of information technology solutions, cloud computing and Internet of Things in Italian SMEs. The final picture is quite positive. Only 8% of respondents said they were not aware of the Industry 4.0 Plan. 30% less than last year. On the other hand, 61% of the entrepreneurs interviewed are adopting solutions to adapt their company to Industry 4.0.


The number of applications used by the manufacturing sector is also growing. That's 800 applications. An average of 3.4 per enterprise. Basically, it's a sector that is worth 1.7 billion euros nowadays. A good recovery compared to the international context that travels on the average of 2 billion euros of investment between 2011 and 2015.

New jobs

The challenges of Industry 4.0, at the expense of a strong automation, will bring new jobs instead of taking away. Companies will need specialized figures capable of consulting and managing the interaction between new technologies and the company's human capital. Not to mention the jobs that will be created for enterprise-level cybersecurity experts. Privacy, data protection and personnel protection will be increasingly important and will lead companies to invest more and more.