DIGITAL REGIONS Slovenian partners Jure Verkhovnik and Emilija Stojmenova from Universiy of Ljubljana have published in July an original professional article about the importance of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation for micro, small and medium-sized companies.
Jure and Emilija pay special attention to the challenges companies face in the digital transformation planning and execution phase and present an overview of existing digital tools and approaches available to SMEs all over the world.
The paper provides insight in the state of digital transformation (DT) and Industry 4.0 (I4.0), as well as in the current levels of digital maturity of the Slovenian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). An overview is given of existing digital tools and approaches available for SMEs globally. A special attention is paid to challenges that companies are coping with in DT planning and implementation stage.
For this paper, 15 international peer-reviewed papers were analyzed describing studies of DT and Industry 4.0. An online survey was conducted comprising 19 questions about DT and Industry 4.0. To gain a more extensive understanding about the state of the DT an interview was performed with four companies, making an analysis of the current DT situation and expectations of the Slovenian SMEs.
The results show a considerable lack of DT knowledge, skills and competences. Based on the analysis of the literature and results of the research, approaches are presented towards effective DT in the implementation in the Slovenian SMEs by using adequate digital tools and technologies.