The 2017 State of Manufacturing Technology Report surveyed more than 150 manufacturers representing the automotive, industrial equipment, aerospace, food and beverage, high technology, and plastics industries. One major finding showed that manufacturers attribute cloud computing as a catalyst for driving innovation. A whopping 98 percent of manufacturers say they value cloud-based systems for their ability to support continuous innovation.
With the cloud comes connectivity, enabling everything from tighter links across production ecosystems to better system, equipment, and end-product integration. New devices and equipment, both those designed specifically for manufacturing and those conceived for other industries or even consumer markets, are providing new opportunities for innovation and connection. Cloud-based manufacturing solutions are designed to be accessed anywhere and to easily integrate, making it simpler to collect and analyze real-time data and easier for analysts both within and beyond the enterprise to connect.
Seventy-one percent of respondents cite cloud systems as having a positive impact on their ability to deal with fluctuating customer demand, and 45 percent say the cloud has been an important contributor to new product introductions. True cloud solutions enable manufacturers to adapt business processes to changing business requirements instead of the system enforcing processes for more agility. Fundamentally, the cloud manufacturing reduces the IT cost and personnel burden for core systems and administration, opening up resources for greater innovation and much needed focus on higher-value technology projects—like engineering, producing, and delivering new products.
Finally, the cloud also “digitizes” manual, paper-based processes. This opens up a whole new world of speed, accuracy, and agility that isn’t available with paper or manual processes. Not to mention the opportunity for insight. More manufacturers are using the data they create when they “go digital” to make decisions based on real-time information—twice as many manufacturers rely on analytics in 2017 than in 2016.
Manufacturers who are using the cloud to connect business processes, people, suppliers, and customers are seeing genuine growth. Find out more by downloading the 2017 State of Manufacturing Technology Report.