Digital Breakdown

Comprehensive IBM/Manufacturer document can help your company’s transition

As the “digital revolution” continues, manufacturing and technology continue to merge. The two realms also look to act together in order to make digital transition go smoothly. One example of this came out this week in the form of “The Digital Transformation Assessment 2021,” from IBM and The UK’s The Manufacturer. Using data and feedback gathered over the course of 2020 to drive projections, the document covers “the strategic role digital adoption plays for manufacturing businesses now and in the future.”

The document features statistics and trends, graphics and charts, along with feedback about pressing obstacles encountered by businesses, as well as stimulants, tools affecting and/or facilitating organizations’ ability to adapt and change. And of course, a report in these times wouldn’t exist without information dedicated to COVID-19’s effects on the areas in question.

More than two-thirds of participants identified customer acquisition as a significant priority and many said that
diversifying into other sectors had risen up their to-do list, particularly those who’ve seen the bottom fall out of their
core market/s. For example, one response noted: “The biggest struggle we face at the moment is the massive collapse of demand in aerospace.”

The survey explores ways to lead, engage and enable the workforce in new ways by providing support for more flexible work options, employees’ wellbeing and skills development. Suggested avenues to this end include applying AI, automation and other exponential technologies to make workflows more intelligent; focusing on supply chain resiliency, operational efficiency, cybersecurity and adoption of automation and AI;  and improving innovation scalability across operations by deploying the right architectural choices which allow your innovations and pilots to scale across your enterprise. “Sometimes cloud is the answer, sometimes it’s an evolving combination of cloud, on-premise and edge. Using the right toolset at the outset will afford the manufacturers absolute flexibility in these deployment models.”

What the survey also highlights is that these digital investments will be deployed in three phases. This presents an enticing opportunity for executives who can manage complexity and drive competitiveness by tying digital transformation to business priorities — while others are still waiting for things to “go back to normal”. Organizational culture and complexity will be the biggest barrier to overcome, and building trust and confidence among employees will be critical. How they are treated now will have an outsize impact on perceptions and value in the future. In the race for competitive “

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