Digital transformation is widely accepted as the driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Yet, to be truly effective, one champion must take charge of the strategy – both in its development and in the prioritisation of the steps to take in the digital transformation journey.

An Infor report on digitalisation in the manufacturing sector confirms that: “The IT team, specifically the CIO, is a logical choice to take the lead and shepherd the digitalisation strategy into execution stages. As the person assigned to spearhead the digitalisation strategy, you need to have a broad knowledge of the operational, as well as the IT requirements, of your organisation.”

Digitalisation in Manufacturing

The report shares IDC Manufacturing Insights, which predict that 65% of manufacturers will adopt digital manufacturing by 2020. “An IDC survey of manufacturers also reveals that many manufacturers are reluctant to be early adopters:

  • 5% are completely risk-adverse, and not going to make any changes;
  • 35% are keen on waiting to see changing technologies being proven in the industry first;
  • 37% want to be early adopters, but not first movers—there may be risks; and
  • 23% want to be the first movers in developing technologies.”

The Benefits of Digital Adoption

According to Sankie Hancke, Project Services Executive at EOH Infor Services, there are two significant benefits to early adoptions:

1. Outpacing the competition; and

2. Distinct revenue opportunities.

She confirms that the World Economic Forum estimates  “the combined value – to society and industry – of digital transformation across industries as upwards of $100 trillion over the next 10 years.”

Being the first to go to the market often means winning the market – and this applies to the transformation journey. “Trailing behind means you’re only left with the portion of the market that is not won over by the first to market. This means a significant slice of the target market is already lost,” advises Hancke. “Build your digital strategy, implement it, and get to market. Your business is ready – it’s time to eliminate reluctance.”

Why Manufacturers Should Drive Digital Transformation

Hancke believes the benefits speak for themselves. From more earning power to greater operational, financial and executive efficiency, the journey offers a variety of benefits. “A recent Forrester/Accenture study revealed that firms ranking their top drivers for digital transformation most often said that they look to digital to help them sell profitably (58%), quickly (51%), and with superior customer satisfaction (48%).”

Don’t delay. Take action now – create a strategy, deploy it, and reap the benefits.


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