In the future, the success factors that will separate winners from losers in an increasingly competitive manufacturing landscape will extend far beyond the ability to manufacture products.
In its recent ‘Exponential technologies in manufacturing’ study, Deloitte observes that organisations from every industry now face mounting pressure to transform and make the shift from product-centric business models to capture other sources of value—and the manufacturing sector is not immune to this challenge.
However, interviews conducted by Deloitte with manufacturing executives highlight a worrying trend. Many interviewees expressed concern that their organisations are not preparing or moving fast enough to address future disruptions on the horizon.
Prioritising the areas in which digitalisation will deliver the most benefits is just part of the challenge. Many manufacturers are locked in a world of legacy IT that is hampering efforts to adopt Industry 4.0 operational innovations and become digital manufacturing enterprises (DMEs) as quickly or holistically as needed.
Enabling digital transformation capabilities
Overcoming the barriers to digitalisation that exist within an enterprise’s own IT infrastructures represents a first vital step on the journey to digital transformation.
Indeed, having the necessary IT services in place that are both available and easy to rapidly scale is a key prerequisite for digitalisation—which that means enterprise cloud strategies will need to be adopted to support these requirements. After which, the advantages of ‘disruptive’ technologies can be fully utilised to enable future sustainable growth and enhanced market relevance.
Furthermore, transitioning to a cloud-environment also makes it easier to deliver demand-oriented access to innovative applications at any time, whether for pilot projects or standard processes.
Creating the prerequisites for intelligent systems
The second requirement for businesses looking to become a DME is the ability to capture data from all internal and external processes, contextualise it, and use it for decision-making and forecasts. Central systems for enterprise management—typically enterprise resource planning

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