On a March 28, Smart Industry VP of Content Keith Larson is the featured guest in our webinar exploring results from the 2018 State of Initiative Survey.
You can click here to register for “A Deep Dive into the Smart Industry 2018 State of Initiative Report.” You can click here to share your perspective in the survey. And you can keep reading to get Keith’s perspective on some of the key features.
Smart Industry: What is the value in surveying manufacturing professionals each year?
Keith: Whether you choose to call it Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things, much of the discussion these past several years has been about the potential surrounding digital transformation—about what's possible, not what's actually being done. That's why our State of Initiative report, now in its fourth year, provides an important gut-check against all the marketing hype. It indicates the bellwether changes in organizational attitude that are steadily translating into action and investment. It also shines a light on obstacles to further progress.
Keith: We're still collecting data for our 2018 survey, but so far two things strike me. First, while the vast majority of survey respondents acknowledge the critical impact that digitalization will have on their industries, a stubborn third of respondents say their companies remain in the starting gate. Meanwhile, of those that have taken action, a growing number have moved past tire-kicking and are making investments in their digital future. To me, it indicates a bifurcation in digital maturity that may leave a full third of manufacturers unprepared to compete. The second trend of note is that survey respondents no longer see cybersecurity as a primary obstacle to digital transformation—it dropped from number one two years ago and is now a distance sixth in a list that is topped by "people issues" such as inadequately skilled workers and clueless management.
Smart Industry: Respondents claiming that technologies will have a “high” or “critical” impact on their businesses has increased from 45% in 2015 to nearly 70% in 2017. Do you expect this trajectory to continue?
Keith: Early returns for 2018 already are at 75%, so a dominant and growing majority subscribe to the "digitalize or die" mantra. Many companies are moving forward; others are having trouble translating tomorrow’s needs into today’s actions.