The means of production has fundamentally transformed in recent times as industrial businesses evolve and grow into digitally connected, tech-enabled operations. How do you grow & keep up with the pace of innovation, at a budget you can afford, and retain your people and their skillsets at the right levels?

Manufacturing worldwide accounts for approximately 16% of global GDP and 14% of employment. However, the way in which it contributes to the economy is changing and taking a dynamic shift as nations mature; in economies today, manufacturing is promoting innovation, productivity, and trade. Manufacturers have also begun to consume more services and are relying more heavily on them to operate.


78% of manufacturers have developed (or are developing) SERVICE-LED BUSINESS MODELS. (The Manufacturer)


By 2025, a new global class of manufacturer will have emerged, and most of the consumption will take place in developing economies. Creating rich new market opportunities for them. Meantime, in more well-established markets, customers ask for a greater variation of products and service, and in addition, different types of after-sales service.

By combining physical tools (robotics, 3D printing, augmented reality and mobile devices) with digital advances, (cloud computing, advanced analytics, Internet of Things), manufacturers are embracing change and challenging the status quo.


55% of companies without a digital transformation strategy believe they have less than a year before they START TO LOSE MARKET SHARE. (Forbes)


Such innovative moves bring a wealth of opportunities to drive productivity improvements, cost-savings, market differentiation, customer insights and new revenue streams. The challenge for businesses lies in how best to harness the disruptive force of these technologies and translate it into competitive advantage.

This challenge can be seen in the divide between those seeing the value and those leveraging that value as a platform for growth.

But why does that divide still exist? If the argument for industrial digital adoption has been won, and studies prove that to be so, why are businesses still hesitant to pull the trigger on investments? Why aren’t manufacturers realising the step-change improvements available to them?


50% of business leaders say the cost and time involved with REGULATORY COMPLIANCE HAS INCREASED. (Dept for Business, Energy Industrial Strategy)


Possible explanations may lie in boardrooms, with decision-makers struggling to define their organisation’s digital strategy or the potential return on investment. It may lie within the IT infrastructure, with legacy systems stalling progress.

It could be more cultural, with current methods seen as “good enough for now” and no time set aside to identify new ways of working. Or it may be as simple as the scale of change required.

Digital tools and data have profoundly altered the way we live, work and communicate with each other. For manufacturers, they have transformed every task their organisation performs – from purchasing and HR to production, distribution, and after-sales support.

That can be overwhelming for those yet to meaningfully embark on their digital journey. Yet, the imperative to adopt is only becoming more urgent.

To compete in today’s marketplace, manufacturers must develop a highly detailed understanding of their emerging markets, as well as the needs of their existing customers.


58% of people will end a relationship with a business due to poor customer service. (Microsoft)


The frequency and scale of supply chain disruption, extreme weather events, geopolitical tensions and economic crises are all on the rise. At the same time, manufacturers face mounting pressure from more agile competitors, greater regulatory compliance – particularly regarding carbon emissions and the drive to net zero – and challenging new customer expectations.


84% of manufacturing decision makers say CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE DRIVE TO NET ZERO is an opportunity. (The Manufacturer)


In order to become more resilient and responsive to whatever the future may bring, manufacturers must grasp the concept of digital transformation and its potential to optimise their operations, empower employees, engage with customers, and transform their products and services. Now is the time for manufacturers to take their willingness to embrace physical technologies, as seen in the previous revolutions driven by steam, electricity and robotics, and apply it to digital solutions.

What’s important to note is that this ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ is as much about knowledge, strategy and collaboration as it is about technology.

When you partner with HSO, you not only gain access to Microsoft’s best in class cloud business applications, data and analytics, you also benefit from our extensive industry experience, our technology driven business transformation capabilities and unique global delivery network.

Everything you need to put your business on the fast track to growth in today’s digital and global world.

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