PERSPECTIVES

Manufacturers up the Ante on Digital

2021-09-08


The pandemic highlighted the value digital brings to industrial business, and now there is no going back.

For manufacturers, the first few months of the pandemic were of stark contrast between those that pivoted overnight, thanks to their digital capabilities, and those that were rendered helpless. Chastened by this experience, manufacturers are quickly ramping up their digital capabilities to become nimble, and better-prepared for an uncertain future. This means adopting technologies that improve data collection, analysis and process execution.

However, a change of this magnitude is never without unique challenges. For manufacturers, executing on the digital mandate requires substantial upgrades of human skillsets too. As intelligent machines augment repetitive tasks and aid complex decisions, the humans who work alongside them need relevant training programs and a rethinking of team structures.

To understand how manufacturers are responding to rapid change, the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally, including 285 senior-level manufacturing executives.