Developing Trends Affecting IT Strategy for Manufacturing

Developing Trends Affecting IT Strategy for Manufacturing

IT for manufacturing has changed from a resource to support and adjunct the processes of a manufacturer into a fundamental element of the operation.

Some of the forces shaping IT strategy for manufacturers have been at work for a while, some are only really being felt now.

Existing Pressures on Strategy for Manufacturers’ IT

  • Staying Current While Nurturing Legacy - Manufacturers have had to invest heavily in both technology and skills in order to keep pace with developments in manufacturing IT. While keeping on top of the trends can present both challenges and opportunities, manufacturers increasingly have to retain the skills needed to maintain legacy systems and develop strategies for migrating away from their legacy systems.
  • Security - IT security has continued to be a big pressure on IT strategy for manufacturers. The need to secure proprietary data against industrial espionage is growing even as the volumes of data manufacturers typically need to handle as well as backup expand. Increasingly, proprietary and customer data are transmitted over the internet, introducing a further concern and driving adoption of end-to-end encryption. The threat from hacking against industrial systems has hit the headlines in recent years and has not gone away.
  • Developing Trends - The latest IT trends offer more hope for manufacturers to enjoy greater savings and fine-tuning of competitive edges, but some of the technologies now appearing even if it is only on the horizon for some will require innovative approaches to management and strategy in IT for manufacturing.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Advanced connectivity and the rise of large-volume, low-cost sensors are proving a boon to manufacturing. IIoT provides huge advantages in the ability to manage supplies/logistics, track quotas, analyze product usage, and predict/schedule maintenance.

Automation/Robotics

Particularly in countries where manufacturers have enjoyed cheap labor but struggled to cultivate the skilled labor increasingly required in manufacturing, automation and robot manufacturing are rapidly replacing large parts of the workforce. Manufacturers are enjoying lower overall costs, greater precision, increased safety in hazardous operations, and better productivity.

AR

Augmented Reality (AR) is transforming many areas of product development and production. AR is also providing powerful tools for training, inventory tracking, and operational analyses.

3D Printing

Few industrial processes to appear in recent decades can have had quite the effect on manufacturing that 3D printing has had. Integration of 3D printing into large-scale manufacturing from its initial appearance largely as a boutique technology continues to drive both the power and versatility of this amazing technology.

Manufacturers have a lot to think about these days. Few manufacturers can compete solely on price and volume. Manufacturers increasingly depend on IT to help them compete on quality, sophistication, and speed of manufacturing. The major change is afoot in the trends affecting IT for manufacturing. This makes it even more important to have a strong partner in IT. At DCG Technical Solutions, Inc., we can provide that partnership. Contact us to learn more about us.