National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
Information and communication technology has become an integral part of our industry and society as a whole. Digitally enabled products, processes and services are increasingly being combined in innovative ways to create on-demand, personalised Smart Services that meet the needs of individual consumers. These new services and business models make use of the growing volume of data that is being captured every day in all areas of our private and working lives. The disruptive impact of Smart Services is already being keenly felt in the retail trade, for example in online marketplaces. However, the changes are also affecting the traditional business models of Germany’s flagship industries, such as the automotive, mechanical engineering, chemicals, electrical engineering, medical technology, logistics and energy technology industries, not to mention the rest of the economy. These industries are already benefiting from the support of Webbased services. In the not too distant future, however, the business models of suppliers, manufacturers and operators alike will be faced with a genuine revolution as a result of being systematically digitised, analysed, augmented with Smart Products and Services and networked with each other.