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Business puts new technologies to the test

A thesis defended at the Politecnico di Torino focuses on the 4.0 model and SMEs

It’s easy to say “digital transformation” and “Business 4.0” because the paradigm of new technologies seems quite clear now to many, at least in broad terms. Its operational implementation is by contrast, entirely characterised by a set of difficulties, obstacles and distortions that exemplify how great the distance is between the (near) future and the reality of today.
To understand how far we have progressed towards the full and conscious adoption of new technologies, it is important to understand the distance that is still to be covered, the degree to which 4.0 can truly penetrate and, above all, what needs to be done to be able to claim that new technologies are the present and not the future.
That’s why it is necessary to read Antonio Pellerino’s thesis “La trasformazione digitale nelle Piccole e Medie Imprese” (The digital transformation in small and medium enterprises), recently presented at the Politecnico di Torino, Department of Production Management Engineering.
The central theme of the research is in fact the digital transformation that has significantly changed the industry as a whole: all that is identified (even hastily) with the term Industry 4.0. In particular, Pellerino focuses on the situation of SMEs, which are seen as the “backbone” of Italian industry, but also as a weak link in the chain that starts with new technologies and ends in factories.
The investigation follows a linear path and is therefore effective. The first part is dedicated to an in-depth analysis of the literature concerning digitisation and the enabling technologies of Industry 4.0; in the second part, the author focuses on SMEs and in particular on the real difficulties of their digital transformation so as to understand how they are facing this evolutionary step and what is needed to manage it.
In his conclusions, the author writes about “the fundamental importance of not only planning a unique and coherent digital transformation strategy, but also assigning responsibility for the process to a person capable of engaging the entire company, acting as a bridge between the different possibilities offered by digitalisation and their effective application.”

La trasformazione digitale nelle Piccole e Medie Imprese
Antonio Pellerino
Thesis, Politecnico di Torino, Department of Production Management Engineering, 2019

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