What’s apparently going on in some com-
panies is that different groups within com-
panies are investing in specific technologies
often to deal with immediate issues. This
reactive, tactical approach was cited by 70%
of survey takers (Chart 5).
Part of the challenge here may be found
in survey findings regarding who within
manufacturing companies has responsibility for M4.0 technology strategy and road-mapping. The picture appears to show a
diffusion of responsibility. For example,
26% of the survey respondents identified
their CEO as the responsible executive,
which certainly makes sense in smaller
manufacturing companies where the CEO
is wearing many hats (Chart 6).
But even more, 36%, said it is their chief
operating officer or manufacturing head.
Thirteen percent said their plant manager
had the responsibility and 9% identified
their CIO as the responsible authority.
Layered on top of this issue is the challenge
of measuring the impact and effectiveness of
M4.0 technologies, an issue that has cropped
up in prior surveys. The most significant
challenge with the technologies, say survey
respondents, is in measuring the return on investment, followed by assessing cost/benefit,
and migrating from or integrating with legacy
systems still in place (Chart 9).
Taken as a whole, though, these challeng-
es are pretty typical of the cycle that always
surrounds the adoption of new technolo-
gies. Over time, as they get more experience
with the technologies, manufacturers will
get better at deriving benefits and measur-
ing both hard and soft returns.
As they do, one challenge that has all
the markings of an issue that seemingly
will become more pronounced over time is
the growing wave of data that is inundating companies. With now near-ubiquitous
connectivity and more instruments in place
for generating data from both objects and
people, today’s manufacturing enterprise is
hard at work to not only hold back the flood
but also to manage its flow in ways that will
benefit the business.
This is no easy task as the data volumes
grow. The survey has revealed the dimensions
of the problem. When asked how well prepared their companies are to organize, evaluate, and make decisions on the volumes of
data that are or will be generated from greater
connectivity of devices and equipment, only
9% of survey respondents indicated that their
organizations were well prepared today. Another 44% said moderately prepared and 39%
said poorly prepared (Chart 15).
This may very well be the chief challenge
of our digital age. We asked for more information. Now, we are going to have to figure
out what to do with it. M
Y 44% Indicate Some Understanding of
Q: How well understood is the concept of a Digital
Thread that connects and shares data across multiple
functions in your organization?
• Well understood 11%
• Partially understood 34
• Still being investigated 21
• Not understood at all 21
• Don't know 11
T Only a Fraction Say They Are
Well Prepared for the Data Tsunami
Q: How prepared is your company to organize,
evaluate, and make decisions on the volumes of data
that are or will be generated from greater connectivity
of devices and equipment?
• Well prepared 9%
• Moderately prepared 44
• Poorlyprepared 39
• Don’t know 9