Wednesday, November 30 2022


If you want to stand out in today’s dynamic manufacturing world, your organization must be agile, resilient and sustainable. In this changing landscape, many manufacturers are investing in innovative solutions to make their products and operations smarter by leveraging advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and digital twins for manufacturing.

Against this backdrop, Microsoft has decided to spotlight the manufacturing industry for its August 2022 IoT Signals report. IoT Signals is a series of thought leadership content curated by Microsoft to update the community on the latest technology developments and trends in the IoT industry. The first report, released in 2019, provided an overview of IoT across a variety of industries, from manufacturing and energy to healthcare and retail, based on a comprehensive research based on surveys.

For this edition of the report IoT Signals: Manufacturing Spotlight Microsoft, Intel and IoT Analytics surveyed 500 decision makers working on digital transformation initiatives in discrete, hybrid or process manufacturing in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. We conducted more in-depth interviews with select participants to better understand their transformation strategies, execution plans and challenges.

Six Key Findings on Digital Transformation and IoT in Manufacturing

This new IoT manufacturing report reveals insights from real-world manufacturers who have begun their digital transformation journey. It also reveals new learnings about the state of industrial IoT devices and technology in manufacturing, particularly in the areas of manufacturing operations and smart products.

During our research, we uncovered six key trends in digital transformation and IoT manufacturing:

  1. Most manufacturers continue their efforts to build smart factories. Three in four respondents (72%) said they were implementing their smart factory strategy.
  2. Operational improvement remains one of the primary goals for manufacturers. Four out of five survey respondents said they consider overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) to be the most important key performance indicator to measure the success of their smart factory strategy.
  3. Organizations are shifting their investments towards process control based on industrial automation. To date, most manufacturers have focused on quality control and condition monitoring for smart factory projects. However, the need for greater agility is leading these organizations to redirect their investments over the next three years towards process control based on industrial automation, i.e. the use of automated control systems. , such as IoT and AI, to automate manufacturing processes.
  4. Manufacturers are facing new challenges with scaling smart factory initiatives. Half of respondents said they face challenges developing new software applications, and the majority (eight out of 10) said they face skill gaps, particularly in the areas of data science, AI and cybersecurity.
  5. IT-OT convergence is happening in the manufacturing industry. With 76% of manufacturing assets now connected, many manufacturers are moving workloads and applications from on-premises infrastructure to public and private cloud platforms.
  6. Manufacturers plan to increase their investment in smart connected IoT products. Manufacturing organizations are not only optimizing their own operations with smart connected IoT products, but they are also creating new revenue streams by selling these products to customers. Manufacturers already selling connected IoT products plan to increase their investments from 33% today to 47% by 2025, with a strong emphasis on value-added services, such as predictive maintenance and Remote Support.

Read it IoT Signals: Manufacturing Spotlight to learn more about the drivers behind these six key trends and holistic understanding of the six key components of digital transformation in manufacturing.

The six key trends and a holistic understanding of the six key components of digital transformation in manufacturing.

Accelerate digital transformation and embrace IoT with Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing

The six key findings of this Manufacturing IoT report share a common theme: manufacturers around the world are advancing their digital transformation efforts. These organizations operate innovative solutions to reinvent manufacturing and build a more resilient and sustainable future.

By adopting transformative technologies such as industrial IoT devices, AI, and digital twins, your manufacturing organization can:

  • Transform your workforce. Eight in 10 manufacturers say they have at least a significant skills gap, particularly in advanced data analytics and IT cybersecurity. In this environment, manufacturers are looking for tools that will help them close the gap and increase employee productivity. Today’s manufacturers can transform their workforce by equipping their frontline workers with digital tools and modern devices that enable real-time collaboration, improve training, and improve worker health and safety. workers.
  • Build more agile factories. The ability to quickly adapt to rapid changes is a defining factor between manufacturers that simply survive and those that thrive. That’s why manufacturers around the world are harnessing advanced technologies to build more agile and smarter factories.
  • Create more resilient supply chains. According to the report, 74% of manufacturers ranked supply chain resilience as a top priority. This is not surprising given that, now more than ever, manufacturers are under pressure to prevent and minimize supply chain disruptions. Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing is already helping manufacturers improve end-to-end supply chain visibility and build supply chain resilience.
  • Engage customers in new ways. If you want to gain an edge in the manufacturing industry, customer engagement is essential. As manufacturers look for innovative ways to engage their customers, many are selling smart connected IoT products. Our research shows that today, 33% of manufacturers’ revenue comes from smart products.
  • Stimulate innovation and offer new services. Manufacturers are investing in advanced technologies to create a more resilient future. According to our research, 28% of manufacturers have deployed digital twins, and 4% of them have fully deployed them in their factories. 45% of manufacturers are in the development and proof-of-concept (POC) stage for digital twins, and 39% are at the same stage for augmented reality (AR).
  • Reduce your environmental impact. Most manufacturing board members (59%) believe that reducing their carbon footprint is an important area of ​​focus. Manufacturers are uniquely positioned to drive sustainability while reducing costs and improving safety through cloud-based automation, machine learning and AI.
  • Improve security. Security is a top priority for manufacturing companies, and 62% of manufacturers have strict data privacy policies. Over the next three years, manufacturers plan to reduce the average time to detection of cybersecurity incidents by 30%.

Build a resilient future with IoT manufacturing

Manufacturing organizations are learning from COVID-19 to build resilience and build a better future. Digital transformation remains a priority for these manufacturers as they strive to increase agility, improve customer engagement and drive growth. For insight into the digital transformation journeys of real-world manufacturers, read the IoT Signals: Manufacturing Spotlight report.

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