The force of digital will lift manufacturing

The force of digital will lift manufacturing

Ulrika Mann

Ulrika Mann,

A new study shows that smart technologies will have a profound impact on the manufacturing industry within the next few years. Digital will improve efficiency, increase revenues and facilitate innovation.

The digital transformation will affect all aspects of business and work in the foreseeable future. That includes manufacturing and logistics.

Technologies such as 3-D printing, sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics are starting to transform the industry and its entire value chain. And while manufacturers have not yet experienced any significant cost savings due to digital, revenues have already improved.

A recent study by Cognizant and Roubini Global Economics, which surveyed approximately 500 executives from the consumer and industrial products industries, shows digital is expected to boost revenues by 9 percent by 2018.

“Extrapolated to the entire manufacturing industry, digital will drive almost 25 percent additional growth,” says Robert Brown, associate VP of Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant.

The study reveals 78 percent of the respondents believe that 20 percent plus of their revenues will stem from digital channels by 2020.

Aside from the pure economic impact, digital will make manufacturing more efficient. “Respondents expect work to become both faster and more strategic as tasks are automated through artificial intelligence, and there will be more human-robotic collaboration,” Brown says.

This will require greater technological expertise, and further automation will be a solution to the expected skills shortage. By 2020, the most important and valued capabilities in the manufacturing industry will be innovation, global operating knowledge and analytical skills.

One of the inevitable drawbacks of digitization facing all industries is the risk of data breaches and “digital terrorism”. This makes data security a primary concern and something all manufacturing companies will have to prioritize.

Download the report at thecognizant.com learn more about the digital transformation.