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Transforming for disruption in a digitally connected future

Disruption in a digitally connected future

The 2018 Global Manufacturing Outlook is a result of a survey of 300 manufacturing CEOs, and its conclusion is clear: transformation must begin now.

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In a world with headlines dominated by Amazon, Google and SpaceX, it can be difficult for the manufacturing industry to make waves. Consumers are concerned with how disruption will directly affect them and their habits, leading to a fundamental question: where is the ‘cool’ factor in machine shops and assembly lines?

This year’s edition of the Global Manufacturing Outlook comes with a strong message not to try to ‘out-cool’ Silicon Valley with wanton innovation. Instead, manufacturing leaders need to use the latest technology to transform with an intention-driven strategy that focuses on showing internal and external stakeholders they have a vision of the future and the capability to carry it out.

The conclusion comes as a result of a survey of 300 manufacturing CEOs around the world.

The relationship between speed and efficacy

One of the most important findings of the survey was the tension that arises between planning and execution. Indeed, leaders can be confident in their way forward, but often face outside pressures to get it done quickly.

KPMG International, Global Manufacturing Outlook, 2018 infographic

KPMG International, Global Manufacturing Outlook, 2018.

KPMG’s perspective is that digital transformation is not a quick fix, but there are ways to satisfy both sides of the equation. For example, by setting short-term goals on the way to the long-term strategy, agility can be measured by more realistic and achievable checkpoints.

Augmentation, not replacement

Another key finding of the survey was the perspective CEOs have on artificial intelligence and intelligent automation as part of these transformative efforts. Fitting with the KPMG perspective, less than one in three felt that AI’s focus should be in the reduction of operational costs.

KPMG International, Global Manufacturing Outlook, 2018 infographic

KPMG International, Global Manufacturing Outlook, 2018.

Instead, artificial intelligence can be a major driver of growth in data analysis, creating value rather than reducing costs. This is coupled with the positive idea that data scientists will be the most-needed type of human worker for the future.

Read the full story for results and findings from the 2018 Global Manufacturing Outlook (PDF 2.57 MB)

To find out more about how artificial intelligence and intelligent automation can guide organizations into the future, visit our relevant pages.

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