Top 4 Challenges Faced by CIOs of Manufacturing Companies

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The future of manufacturing is digital and forward-thinking CIOs are facing a number of new challenges in the manufacturing industry. Even as technology delivers value, it can also create exposures and weaknesses.
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With the Fourth Industrial Revolution well under way, leaders in the manufacturing industry are embracing the latest digital technologies and changing their manufacturing processes throughout the entire supply chain. Manufacturers are delivering enhanced customer experiences and new services to their customers through technology. They have also changed what they produce and sell and how they conduct their business overall. Technology is being deployed from the production lines, in distribution, the back office and throughout the entire supply chain.

The majority of CIOs today are not only in charge of accelerating new growth by deploying applications and platforms in innovative new ways, but play an essential part in strategy and revenue growth. This is not to say that CIOs were not involved in these areas before – but now more than ever, they are key in manufacturing organizations in their role as a digital business expert in transformation.

2018 Deloitte Global CIO survey

CIOs don’t always lead digital strategy, but are often still responsible for digital execution within their enterprises.



Driving Even Greater Revenue Growth

The CIO function and IT team have changed their roles from cost center to revenue driver. The CIO performance metrics now focus on business outcomes rather than IT delivery. Digital technologies improve the customer experience with the flow of information leading to better engagement and value creation for the company and the customer. The IT teams are a critical part of driving revenue – but at the same time, they must maintain or even lower IT spending.  CIOs need to enable greater and more connected selling, production and service agility, not only through digital transformation initiatives but by leveraging existing IT resources and the existing systems in place.

Data Security

Data within organizations is becoming increasingly important for creating a single source of truth for the business. This data is coming from connected products, supply chains and assets and is the starting point for new initiatives. The rise of connected information and cloud ecosystems is driving manufacturing CIOs to redesign their security architectures. There is a need to deploy proactive threat detection and integrate preventative solutions for ransomware and insider threats – so increased data governance is a must. Data monitoring is a critical element of the CIOs security strategy, not only at the perimeter of their network but throughout the data’s lifecycle.

Real-Time Data Analytics

The importance of real time insights and analytics is gaining more importance for faster decision making and fueling business growth. New business opportunities exist in data; yet, sometimes applications and infrastructure remain slow. New technologies – such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence. Algorithms – are driving the inflection point in manufacturing. Real-time monitoring of the health of every machine on the factory floor, real time insights across operations and gaining predictive accuracy are all opportunities to improve on many manufacturing metrics that CIOs have also taken ownership of. The value of data is growing and the CIOs next steps are on turning manufacturing intelligence into a competitive advantage for their businesses. 

Improving the Customer Experience

Customers’ preferences are changing quickly, from where, how and what they buy. Manufacturers are redesigning their workflows to support shorter, more customized production cycles to keep up with the fast-changing customer requirements. Their experiences and voice are much needed for manufacturers to fuel new product generations as well as staying relevant. Customer satisfaction is important and most organizations are measuring their Net Promoter Scores and actively trying to increase it. The user experience of customer facing applications is a focus for CIOs in manufacturing across all channels.

In the midst of all the challenges, CIOs need to take a step back and focus on the bigger strategy. The manufacturing world is becoming more data-centric and valuable insights are a key part of businesses today. It’s not only about Industry 4.0, but the CIO’s ability to connect technology to the business in meaningful and tangible ways boosting performance. Remember, a quantifiable way to measure digital transformation and its connection to financial outcomes is the key to the CIOs success in the manufacturing industry.

Stay ahead of the curve today with an end-to-end partner that can assist with your digital transformation initiatives and understands IoT, Machine Learning, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Browse through our website to learn more about transforming your operations and overcoming the CIO manufacturing challenges.

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