23 Ott Top 10 Predictions for Global Manufacturing in 2018: IDC
By 2020, 60% of manufacturers will rely on digital platforms which will support as much as 30% of their overall revenue.
IDC recently released a report, “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2018,” surveying the global manufacturing landscape. When creating its predictions the firm examined ecosystems and experiences, greater intelligence in operational assets and processes, data capitalization, the convergence of information technology (IT) and operations. Most of the group’s predictions refer to a continuum of change and digital transformation (DX) within the wider ecosystem of the manufacturing industry and global economy.
“Manufacturers of every size and shape are changing rapidly because of new digital technologies, new competitors, new ecosystems, and new ways of doing business,” said Kimberly Knickle, research vice president, IT Priorities and Strategies, IDC Manufacturing Insights. “Manufacturers that can speed their adoption of digital capabilities in order to create business value will be the leaders of their industry.”
Technologies that will have the greatest impact include cloud, mobile, big data and analytics, and internet of things (IoT). Manufacturers also have high expectations for the business value of technologies that are in earlier stages of adoption, such as robotics, cognitive computing/artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), and even blockchain.
Over the next few years, IDC identified some of the most notable changes in the industry:
- Redefining how businesses design (or define), deliver and monetize products and services
- Developing new contextualized and customized experiences for customers, employees and partners
- Increasing coordination and collaboration between IT and line-of-business organizations, as well as among ecosystem participants
- Changing the nature of work and how it’s accomplished with people, process, and technology coming together
While the predictions offered largely focus on the near- to midterm (2018–2021), the impact of many of these will be felt for years to come. IDC’s worldwide manufacturing 2018 predictions are:
Prediction 1: By 2020, 60% of the top manufacturers will rely on digital platforms that enhance their investments in ecosystems and experiences and support as much as 30% of their overall revenue.
Manufacturers are looking to digital platforms as the underpinnings for collaboration and coordination processes, bringing together the essential technology components for the benefit of cloud-based ecosystems — including employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. The platform facilitates information exchange and processes, at scale, simplifying connectivity and ensuring a level of security and trusted business interactions. The platform will be anchored by an open architecture and open access and, in many cases, by an open marketplace to support monetizable information flows and new revenue opportunities. As a result, digital platforms allow manufacturers to more seamlessly and quickly apply new capabilities, leveraging technology for “experiences” and supporting revenue generation activities within an ecosystem. While platforms may support traditional revenue streams online, some new opportunities will also develop explicitly because of the ecosystem effect.
Prediction 2: By 2021, 20% of the top manufacturers will depend on a secure backbone of embedded intelligence, using IoT, blockchain, and cognitive, to automate large-scale processes and speed execution times by up to 25%.
Most manufacturers will look for their major enterprise applications to be the means through which they automate and speed execution, using embedded intelligence. For many, this will happen through intelligent ERP systems, which integrate IoT for critical data input, cognitive to enhance the analytics, and blockchain to maintain the integrity of the data and decision making. We’re in a transition stage where systems of record are being replaced by new systems of intelligence, which retain the core “systems of record” capabilities while layering in new technologies and capabilities. These intelligent applications incorporate the four pillars of the 3rd Platform and increasingly embed and leverage the innovation accelerators — IoT, cognitive computing, next-generation security, 3D printing, robotics, and even AR/VR. These systems leverage cloud and machine learning but more generally analytics of all types to manage data coming from new and existing sources. Some of the outcomes are:
- IoT: Actual product/asset performance data that can initiate preventative maintenance activities and increase customer satisfaction; inventory tracking to facilitate higher levels of accuracy in the supply chain, minimizing order delays resulting from inaccuracies
- Cognitive: Advanced analytics to complement existing analysis, focusing more on identifying patterns and prerequisites for workflows and processes, such as preventative maintenance and customer sentiment to direct sales, identifying customer preferences for more efficient product innovation
- Blockchain: Data to ensure the authenticity and quality of goods in transit, increasing product and service quality; speeding processing from order to cash and traceability for data and contracts
Prediction 3: By 2020, 75% of all manufacturers will participate in industry clouds, although only one-third of those manufacturers will be monetizing their data contributions.
The proliferation of IoT-enabled connected products, assets, and processes is creating a wealth of performance- and location-based operational data, more quickly and easily, at lower technology costs. Industry clouds are an appealing option for sharing and analyzing this information. Furthermore, manufacturers are looking to industry clouds for sourcing and supplier management as well as working with customers. The cloud provides the mechanism for not only data sharing, analysis, and collaboration or joint ventures but also integration with even more data sources, such as environmental conditions (weather or traffic) or customer demand signals.
Despite the draw to industry clouds, the ability to monetize the participation of manufacturers in industry clouds is still a work in process. We believe maximizing the value of operational data requires sharing it with other companies. This will allow them to apply and analyze the data in the context of larger business requirements, such as yield, quality, utilization, preventative maintenance, and customer service. In the most advanced stages, companies will also monetize the data through the clouds, for example, using aggregated performance data to create more automated replenishment of inventory or spare parts.
Prediction 4: By 2019, the need to integrate operational technology and information technology as a result of IoT will have led to more than 30% of all IT and OT technical staff having direct project experience in both fields.
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