Without standards no digital transformation

Standards like eCl@ss are indispensable for the digital transformation – Findings based on a new study with 1,200 firms conducted by the IW Cologne.

The vote is distinct: 85 percent of the nearly 1,200 interviewed German firms from various industrial sectors regard product- and process-standards like eCl@ss as important for digital transformation of their value chain. The likelihood of adopting standards increases with the existence of a corporate digital strategy: A firm with a corporate digital strategy has a likelihood that is twice as much of adopting standards than a firm without a corporate digital strategy. (This is an essential result of the study.) 

There are many reasons to adopt standards: 85 percent of the firms have introduced standards in response to their customers’ requirements. For 76 percent of the firms, enormous cost savings are the main reason in sequence of adopting standards in internal and external data transfers. Also competitive pressure and supplier requirements motivates firms to adopt standards.

More than half of the firms, which think that standards are important, have not introduced standards during the past two years. There are many reasons for this. 58 percent of the firms indicate doubts about the benefits in relation to the costs. Likewise more than half of the firms bothers that their customers and suppliers do not use standards that much.

Also it is a task of politics to emphasize the importance of standards for the digital transformation and to assist with applying standards, especially the small and middle (class) firms.

The Importance of Standards for Digital Transformation – Findings Based on the IW Future Panel