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With the introduction of LNS Research’s Asset Performance Management (APM) Research Library in January of 2015, now is the time to look forward and provide some guidance as to what we expect to see in 2015 as the top trends that will impact APM. Since the APM coverage is just launching, there were no APM predictions in 2014 and we are starting with a clean sheet.
Today, everyone is talking about technology advancements. References to the Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT)—whether central talking points or tangential nuggets that bounce in and out of conversation—have become near ubiquitous across manufacturing industries. It seems clear—most professionals seem to understand at least on some level where the future trends lie in technology for operations.
On December 1, I began working on my 20th year as an analyst in the manufacturing space. During the last 19 years, I have covered manufacturing technology from the shop floor all the way to the executive suite.
Numerous previous posts have talked about the relevance of the Cloud to all aspects of manufacturing, including Asset Performance Management (APM). There is no denying that Cloud technology is radically transforming the way enterprises collect and analyze the vast volumes of data available for all of their processes.
Last month, we wrote about the current and future benefits of cloud software technology on operations and IT as perceived by today’s manufacturers, based on the results of our 2014-2014 Manufacturing Metrics that Matter survey, conducted jointly with MESA International. Though there’s a multitude of ways, many big but some small, that manufacturers feel cloud will benefit them in the coming years, we narrowed it down to the four most immediate and relevant that manufacturers are experiencing and reporting about the cloud.
The manufacturing industries are constantly looking for ways to cut costs, increase revenue, efficiency, speed, and so on, and advancements in technology are key to furthering this cause. Today, there are several emerging technologies that are having a significant impact on how companies operate. And one that is being embraced with increasingly open arms is cloud manufacturing software.
In comparison to other areas like sales, marketing, and service, in the past manufacturing executives have not been particularly savvy when it comes to implementing emerging software on the plant floor. But over the years we've been watching companies like Plex Systems’ change that, moving forward the capabilities and adoption of cloud-based manufacturing solutions. The hundreds of manufacturers at the PowerPlex user conference last week were a testament to that forward progress.
The current buzz-term “Big Data” may be slightly misleading in the strictest sense. The concept is nothing new. Most manufacturers are quite accustomed to having “big,” some might say huge, amounts of data flowing throughout their organizations, but have historically lacked the context that gives that data actionable meaning—giving birth to the oft used phrase, “data rich, but information poor.”
We saw new signs of lively activity in the world of Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) software solutions this past year, due to several factors, not the least of which was the beginnings of economic recovery in developed regions of the world. This activity is also attributable to growth in demand from an expanding middle class in emerging market areas of the world, as well as from shifts in manufacturing locations with re-shoring activities, a global environment of stable energy prices, and new technology advancements delivering benefits that are too compelling to ignore.
LNS Research was pleased to be among the 80-100 attendees at the MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation’s conference focusing on Big Data earlier this month near our offices in Cambridge, MA. The event was sponsored by MIT and Accenture, and featured MIT faculty speakers as well as those from Accenture and mining and electronics companies.
© 2014 matthewlittlefield.com