The future is connected, adaptive and sustainable

For the first time, sustainability emerges as a top trend and business priority for manufacturing executives, while cybersecurity is also increasing in relevance. Manufacturing executives indicate slow progress with producing expected results from digital strategies and as a result, application modernisation moves to the top of all executives’ IT priorities. As manufacturers continue to navigate the pandemic’s long-term impacts, new challenges resulting from geopolitical and economic disruptions have emerged. This requires accelerating digitisation and leveraging agility as a competitive differentiator.

View key findings from our conversations with manufacturing executives in 2022 below, or download the report.

For more insights on macro trends, including social demographics, climate change, deglobalisation, technology acceleration and supply chain reconfiguration, read our summary.

Top trends and priorities

Top macro trends
  1. Climate change, including the energy transition and the acceleration toward decarbonisation

  2. Changing social demographics, including aging populations and talent shortages

  3. Technology and digital acceleration, notably rising customer and citizen digital expectations

Top industry trends
  1. Sustainability

  2. Becoming digital organisations

  3. Protecting through cybersecurity

Top business priorities
  1. Sustainability

  2. Optimising operations

  3. Improving the customer experience

Top IT priorities
  1. Driving IT modernisation of applications

  2. Protecting through cybersecurity

  3. Digitising processes and integrating systems

say climate change has a high impact on their organisations
say culture change and change management is the top constraint to achieving business priorities
have implemented an enterprise-wide cybersecurity strategy

What digital leaders do to accelerate results

Among the 17% of manufacturing executives who report achieving expected results from their digital strategies, some common attributes emerge. The table compares responses to questions from these digital leaders to those from executives whose organisations are still building or launching digital strategies (digital entrants).

Learn more about the attributes of digital leaders.

Common attributes of digital leaders

Digital leaders

Digital entrants

Feel the impact of climate change more keenly 71% 56%
Are further ahead in implementing digital processes 75% 29%
Have implemented or are implementing data analytics capabilities 68% 26%
Are better at aligning IT and business priorities 36% 17%
Use managed services for applications more 80% 51%