What accelerates technology or medicine faster?

Rapid change through new technologies

Executive board members and corporate decision-makers from industry expect their sectors to change more rapidly in the next five years than in all previous decades. 85 percent of those responsible from the automotive, mechanical engineering and aerospace and defense industries assume that technological breakthroughs such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and data-based business models will completely change their company.

Three out of four people in charge name the speed of change as a key factor. Almost one in two also thinks the extent of the change has never been seen before. At the same time, traditional companies feel poorly prepared for change - especially when it comes to building new digital business models and attracting the necessary talent. These are the central results of a worldwide survey of over 300 top decision-makers from the industry entitled "Disruptive forces in the industrial sector - a global executive survey" by McKinsey & Company.

Mediocre smartphone faster than the supercomputer in the past

“Of course there were leaps in development in the industry in the past. But this time not only the technology is changing, but also the fundamental business model for all companies, ”summarizes Thomas Baumgartner, head of European consulting for industrial companies at McKinsey. For example, 47 percent of the companies surveyed expected that new billing models such as pay per use would be used much more frequently in the future. Nine out of ten companies assumed that new competitors would penetrate their market - for example from the digital industry, startups or from China. Nevertheless, there is also a lot of optimism: every second company is expecting increasing sales for the entire industry. “It is still unclear whether the traditional companies will secure these additional sales or the new competitors,” Baumgartner continued.

According to the study, three fundamental technological leaps are driving change:

  • First, there is more data that can be used economically. 90 percent of all stored data was generated in the last two years.
  • Second, the computing speed of computers has increased exponentially: Today's mid-range smartphone is ten times faster than the supercomputer that beat a world chess champion for the first time in 1997.
  • Thirdly, the world is becoming more and more networked: 20 billion devices are now connected to the Internet, and 50 million are added every day.

According to McKinsey, this results in rapid succession of innovations: In the automotive industry, for example, mobility services would convert 30 billion US dollars today; in 2025 it would be almost 400 billion. be. The market for cybersecurity applications will more than double from 96 billion US dollars today to 210 billion US dollars in the next seven years.

Bernd Heid, co-author of the study and senior partner of McKinsey, is convinced that "companies that do not actively tackle this change risk being forced out of the market very quickly." Therefore, more than half of the companies surveyed expect to have to reallocate between 10 and 30 percent of their budgets; a third wanted to redistribute more than 30 percent. On a long-term average, companies would only reallocate six to ten percent of their budgets annually - so there will be a dramatic acceleration.

Conversion programs already initiated

58 percent of the companies surveyed by McKinsey expect that ten to 30 percent of jobs will change - through new tasks or the discontinuation of individual activities; a third assume that more than 30 percent of the employees are affected. "The industry is desperately looking for software and data specialists," reports Heid. In the USA alone, up to 100,000 additional experts would be required for software in cars.

Six out of ten companies have already initiated conversion programs; a third approach the change by founding startups. "The speed and extent of the change require a courageous conversion," comments Thomas Baumgartner. “Individual pilot projects and the founding of startups or incubators can help to push the change.” But for long-term success, the conversion must take place 'at scale', the expert is certain. (ig)