The world's biggest industrial companies can't stop talking about 'going digital'

The rise of robots has been an important talking point in recent months.

Companies though have gone big on investing in technology and figures suggest this has led to an investment boom.

A report released by Morgan Stanley analysts led by Ben Uglow now provides further evidence of this secular trend favouring the increased use of technology.

“Digital Manufacturing has reached the tipping point, and is now going mainstream,” the report said. “Industrial companies have begun to engage in a digital ‘race’, quickly building out their software competences.”

General Electric and Siemens are currently leaders in the push towards digitization, but there are other big companies in the mix too. “The six largest companies in this arena have combined digital revenues of $US14.1bn, with individual exposures ranging from 3-7% of sales,” they said.
Meanwhile, one thing that’s making digitization an important concern for investors is company management teams turning increasingly vocal about their digital push.
“Management commentary on the subject has gone exponential — it is a ‘top of mind’ subject for CEOs,” the analysts said. “Several companies have made digital appointments in recent months, and outlined their respective strategies at capital markets events.”

However, the analysts warned, “we sense a ‘communication race’ between the leading industrial players, and it can be difficult to distinguish fact from rhetoric in terms of what relative strengths different companies have.”

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