German CEOs say firms struggle with new technologies - study

Wednesday 7 February 2018 | 14:18 CET | News

German firms are struggling to successfully implement new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics, found a new representative survey of 505 companies across all industries in Germany from digital association Bitkom. Two-thirds of CEOs and board members (68 percent) in Germany say that German firms are laggards or “far behind globally” when it comes to the use of artificial intelligence, while nearly half of CEOs said German firms are behind when it comes to implementing technologies like 3D-printing (48 percent), Blockchain (47 percent) and robotics (45 percent). Over four in ten (42%) of CEOs said German firms are laggards with the Internet of Things (IoT), while 41 percent and 37 percent of CEOs said German firms are behind when it comes to Virtual Reality and Big Data, respectively.

Still, 36 percent of executives and managers said the German economy a whole ranked among digital forerunners, and 44 percent said it ranked somewhere in the middle. "Practically no one" said Germany was far behind in terms of digitisation, said Bitkom. Respondents said the biggest hurdles for implementing new technologies were strict data protection requirements (45 percent), technical security requirements (39 percent) and a lack of skilled labor (33 percent). Other obstacles include drawn-out decision procedures (27 percent of respondents), a lack of adequate financing (14 percent), and uncertainties over the economic benefits of these technologies (7 percent), said Bitkom.

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