AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, today announced the results of a new global study which found that more than 8 in 10 top executives say key business decisions are being made without full data visibility and insights from their plants and assets. The study, ‘Connecting the Future,’ was released in partnership with Wakefield Research and polled 650 executives at global companies with a minimum annual revenue of $50M USD in the chemicals, manufacturing, and power industries across North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
With no end in sight to global business disruptions, 87% of executives plan to increase their organization’s investment in industrial digital solutions over the 12-months, given the need for the type of connected data that can drive decisions needed to address growing combined challenges of economic uncertainty, unstable geo-political environments, historic labor shortages, and disrupted supply chains.
Industrial leaders across key industries such Oil & Gas, Energy, manufacturing, utilities and transportation, also understand the need to leverage digital solutions now more than ever. The greatest investments to tackle supply chain complexities are in analytics and AI, Industrial IoT, cloud computing and edge computing solutions in the next 12 months.
“Industrial sectors are navigating complex and constantly changing economic challenges, from rising costs to the need to decarbonize to supply chain to labor shortages. With accurate, trusted data, companies can drive actionable insights that enable them to tackle these challenges head-on,” said Kim Custeau, Executive Vice President of Portfolio, AVEVA. “Leading companies are investing in cloud-based software solutions enriched with sector-specific AI to connect their teams, drive deeper collaboration and build the industries of the future. This gives leaders the agility, resilience, and sustainability capabilities they need to succeed in today’s fast-evolving industrial landscape.”
Other key findings include:
Cloud, analytics and AI drive the majority of investments to close the gap: Companies are looking at a number of digital solutions to combat lack of insight into data, including cloud computing, data management infrastructure, flexible work options, and analytics and AI. More than 3 in 5 of top execs included cloud computing (63%) and analytics and AI (62%) among their top priority areas for increased investment over the next 12 months, and nearly all (98%) see augmenting their existing industrial engineering and operations workflows with cloud capabilities as essential.
The U.S. leads the way in industrial digital solutions: U.S. executives are more likely than execs globally to say their company’s investment will increase significantly over the next 12 months (35%, compared to 27% globally).
The chemicals industry is prioritizing digital investments to drive a more sustainable future: In fact, 62% of chemicals leaders have increased or accelerated their investment in industrial digital solutions over the past few years—significantly higher than the percentage who have done so across other industries. This could be in response to increasing environmental regulations and sustainability pressures, which a third of those in the sector (33%) view as the most significant challenge they’ll face over the next 12 months (compared to 23% across all sectors).
Historic labor shortages pose an urgent threat to industrial digital initiatives: Nearly half of companies (46%) report it has been very or extremely difficult to find talent with the skill sets needed to support their industrial digital priorities. Nearly half of companies across these industries (47%) will invest significantly over the next 12 months to support workforce opportunities outside of traditional locations and schedules, including workers on the plant floor and those involved in operations and production.
Information sharing within and outside business units is paramount: Nearly half of executives (45%) include enabling information sharing with trusted partners through an open and interoperable information-sharing ecosystem among the top digital initiatives with the greatest potential to impact profitability and sustainability at their organization. In fact, executives report the most common benefits of having an open and agnostic information-sharing ecosystem are greater efficiency and innovation (48%), increasing employee satisfaction (45%), and staying competitive with other companies (44%).