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Top 10 Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2014: No. 1 & 2

IDC Manufacturing Insights hosted a web conference “IDC Manufacturing Insights Predictions 2014: Worldwide Manufacturing” highlighting the Top 10 predictions for the year ahead.  Today's predictions focus on information technology and trends.

Mnet 162372 2014 Manufacturing Technology Predictions Lns

IDC Manufacturing Insights hosted a web conference “IDC Manufacturing Insights Predictions 2014: Worldwide Manufacturing” highlighting the Top 10 predictions for the year ahead. Featuring analysts Robert Parker, Heather Ashton, Sheila Brennan, Simon Ellis, Kimberly Knickle, Pierfrancesco Manenti, and Amy Rowell, the session provided organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. The Predictions web conference series is designed to help company leaders capitalize on emerging market opportunities and plan for future growth.

“The manufacturing industry has an established track record of continuously improving productivity and is at the cusp of a new wave of gains that will dramatically restructure value chains to be closer to demand regardless of direct labor costs,” says Robert Parker, group vice president and general manager of IDC Manufacturing Insights. “This is being driven by an intelligent economy where customers are more informed, talent is at a premium and the time to react to changes is compressed.

“In 2014, companies should put together a set of business initiatives across critical line of business areas such as supply chain, factory operations, product management, and customer experience/aftermarket services, and follow a progression toward the principles of the 3D value chain, the theme for our 2014 predictions.”

Join us daily this week as we reveal all Top 10 predictions for the year ahead, by category. Check the links below for previous predictions.

Kimberley Knickle, Practice Director at IDCBig Data and IT Predictions

1. Manufacturers will Begin to Build 3D Value Chains

In the beginning of the webinar, IDC experts laid out the five critical capabilities that companies will need to transform to remain competitive. Those critical capabilities include:

      • the ability to engage customers
      • increasing process and response speeds
      • continuous innovation
      • the ability to adapt to changing markets
      • the reliability of their operations 

According to Kimberley Knickle, Practice Director at IDC, the 3D Value Chain will be essential for manufacturers in 2014. The 3Ds represent demand oriented, data driven, and digitally executed. “Third platform technologies — that’s big data, mobile, social, cloud — are going to come together to create a series of initiatives that deliver a platform for productivity and that enable the aforementioned critical capabilities,” she says. The roadmap for advancements will evolve based on the principles of the 3D value chain.

2. Operational Tech, Customer Tech, and IT Converge

In 2014, expect the convergence of operational tech, customer tech, and information tech. Currently, these three often operate independently in the following silos:

      • IT: order management, treasury and risk, financial management and accounting, HR
      • Operational Tech: customer experience, product management, factory tech, supply chain
      • Consumer Tech: personal computing, mobile, sensors

The optimal approach for converging these groups will require three separate technology management organizations. The first one is going to be the organization that will report to the COO. The group manages the 3Ds.  “We estimate that 90% of new investment will be related to these value chain assessments,” says Knickle. 

The second organization is related to IT and resource management. This is the group that manages the core enterprise resource planning (ERP) business platform — most likely reporting to the CFO.

The third is the office of technology coordination. This organization will be smaller and more nimble, and will encompass IT infrastructure and security.  

Visit tomorrow for more predictions!

About IDC Manufacturing Insights

IDC Manufacturing Insights assists manufacturing businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing asset intensive, brand oriented, technology oriented, and engineering oriented manufacturing industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit