The global manufacturing industry has been on an upward trend the last several years, buoyed by favorable conditions in North America and Europe as well as growth in developing economies.
For manufacturers across all sectors and geographies, profitable growth remains a top concern. As such, manufacturers are focused on attracting and retaining customers, improving productivity, and enhancing performance and – and they are looking to technology to help them do so including to help manage communications costs.
Today, manufacturing leads other industries in the use of enterprise and communication technology. In a survey by Frost & Sullivan, manufacturers are the top user of consumer and business grade softphones, unified communications, mobile devices, machine-to-machine communications, and TDM phones when compared to the healthcare, retail, finance and government sectors.
Looking ahead, manufacturers will continue to adopt and adapt technology to create competitive advantage. In the next four years, the manufacturing industry will increase its spending on technology hardware, software, and services at a 5.37% compound annual growth rate.
The bulk of this growth will be dedicated to establishing a robust network infrastructure, spending on hardware, and software programs to meet specific or multiple requirements. Additional monies will be invested in network security to combat corporate espionage and attract and retain customers. Investing in mobile technology (e.g., smartphones, tablets and laptops) to support new business needs will represent the third highest percentage of the IT budget.
As more devices enter the manufacturing environment, IT departments will be faced with the challenge of managing mobile devices in a way that tracks and monitors them in real-time, ensuring they are provisioned with the latest software updates and performing optimally to reduce down-time of work processes.
Not only will this increase in spending bring more (and new) devices and solutions into the organization, it will introduce the organization to a number of vendors
Managing mobility services and vendors, among others, will be crucial for IT departments in the manufacturing industry to get right. A vendor that speaks to the whole communications lifecycle simplify. The projected rise in IT budgets is tied to the manufacturers’ annual sales and profitability. A decline in sales, which is always a possibility when dealing with a rather fickle consumer market, will reduce IT budgets for the next financial year.
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