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Making smart manufacturing a priority

Smart manufacturing provides the opportunity to boost productivity, agility and speed on a scale that has previously been out of reach. To explore what's driving this change and the progress that's being made Cognizant and Microsoft commissioned a survey of senior decision makers at 150 manufacturing organisations in both the UK and Ireland.

93% of the leading industrial manufacturers in our research told us they had a clear strategy for smart manufacturing, but levels of adoption and momentum vary.

Read our research to learn how employee welfare, sustainability goals and foundational technologies are influencing the push towards smart manufacturing, and how organisations are dealing with the risks and challenges that can prevent progress.

Heralding an exciting new era for industrial manufacturers

With the greater connectivity and data that smart manufacturing brings, industrial manufacturers can improve quality and safety, optimise processes, minimise downtime and boost productivity. Our research delves deeper into the strategies that are helping the organisations to put the right foundations in place, and the challenges and opportunities they face.

is a major driver for change

Employee safety
comes first

Skill shortages
risk progress

Smart technologies
releasing value for cloud

Industrial manufacturers see how smart technologies can help them take a data-driven approach to improve employee safety and productivity.


stated that improved safety was their most highly anticipated outcome from introducing smart initiatives – increasing to 35% for the largest organisations.

Industrial manufacturers aren’t just seeing smart technologies as a way to transform their manufacturing process, they also understand how they can progress their sustainability goals. For example, digital twin technology can remove the need for phyiscal testing of products to reduce energy consumption. 


of industrial manufacturers told us they are working with suppliers to become more sustainable.


believe that implementing smart manufacturing projects can contribute to sustainability and environmentally responsible manufacturing practices.

With more data, organisations can make better-informed decisions. 


stated that improved access to data was their first or second most highly anticipated outcome from their Smart Manufacturing plans.

Industrial manufactuers were quick to adopt a cloud-first approach which is now forming the foundation of their smart manufacturing strategies.


have used cloud computing to augment their manufacturing processes.

Organisations have the desire and strategies to push ahead with Smart Manufacturing. However a shortage of skills risks holding them back.


told us that a lack of experienced talent is a major barrier.

Download our report to learn more about the opportunities, enablers and risks. 



Prasanth "PT" Thomas

Head of UKI Consulting for Manufacturing, Logistics, Energy and Utilities (MLEU)

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