Manufacturing activity in the U.S. has been steadily growing all year, and capital investment usually accompanies growth. Over the next few years, manufacturers will be leaning more heavily on IT to help them face the challenges of emerging markets; compliance; and increasing efficiency, IDC Manufacturing Insights reports. Connectivity will play a major role in helping businesses manage their facilities, as well as collaborating with customers.
These are a few of the trends IDC has identified that will drive manufacturing through 2018. "IDC Manufacturing Insights sees a number of important industry drivers that will shape the manufacturing industry for the next few years, including complex value chains, support for continuing emerging market growth, customer (and consumer) centricity, ubiquitous connectivity, and data-driven insights; these drivers inform the ten decision imperatives for 2015 and beyond," said Simon Ellis, practice director, IDC Manufacturing Insights.
The predictions from the IDC FutureScape for Worldwide Manufacturing FutureScape are:
- By 2017, manufacturers will actively channel 25% of their IT budgets through industry clouds that enable seamless and flexible collaboration models.
- In 2015, product quality, including compliance, will underpin two thirds of all IT application investments across the manufacturing organization.
- By 2016, 30% of manufacturers will invest substantially in increasing the visibility and analysis of information exchange and business processes, within the company and with partners.
- In 2015, customer centricity will require higher standards for customer service excellence, efficient innovation, and responsive manufacturing, which will motivate 75% of manufacturers to invest in customer-facing technologies.
- By 2017, 50% of manufacturers will explore the viability of micro logistics networks to enable the promise of accelerated delivery for select products and customers.
- By 2018, 75% of manufacturers will be coordinating enterprise-wide planning activities under the umbrella of rapid integrated business planning.
- By 2016, 70% of global discrete manufacturers will offer connected products, driving increased software content and the need for systems engineering and a product innovation platform.
- By 2018, 40% of the top 100 discrete manufacturers and 20% of the top 100 process manufacturers will provide Product-as-a-Service platforms.
- In 2015, 65% of companies with more than ten plants will enable the factory floor to make better decisions through investments in operational intelligence.
- Investments that enable digitally executed manufacturing will increase 50% by the end of 2017, as manufacturers seek to be more agile in the marketplace.