The manufacturing industry is changing quickly, with blurring industry lines and radical new automation, communications, and analytics capabilities. This shift enables a host of new options for companies to deliver high-end experiences and outcomes to customers. And promising new revenue opportunities exist for manufacturers that get it right—delivering connected products and services that are highly functional, dynamically optimized, and high integrity. Manufacturing 4.0 has arrived.
Although the various terms used to describe this evolution are still battling for top billing, the impact is clear: Manufacturing 4.0’s additive impact to the global economy is expected to hit between $10 and $15 trillion during the next 20 years—the largest global GDP growth in human history.
In this new manufacturing landscape, organizations are using technology to thread together once linear pieces of the value chain into a single digital tapestry, enabling a perspective across supply chains, factory operations, and customer environments with new clarity, precision, and speed. And they can now act upon that insight to extract more value. No longer will R&D, product development, and customer engagement be isolated functions. Instead, the company that integrates best will thrive.
With all of this progress and possibility, there is a good reason to be excited. But 4.0 should be deliberate and thoughtful step for manufacturers. When manufacturing connects, new challenges emerge—especially around cyber.