Win the race for digital operations transformation – Max Blanchet, Jeff McKinney, and Russ Rasmus
It’s been nearly a decade since the vision for Industry 4.0, the digitization of manufacturing, was announced. What progress have manufacturers made in the past ten years toward making this vision a reality? New research from Accenture Strategy suggests not nearly as much as they could have—or need to.
Digital maturity: From PoCs to scaling up
Digital maturity varies widely by industry. The most mature capabilities tend to be found where digital or data-driven solutions are critical to performance. Or they are found where there’s significant potential for productivity increases.
Digital maturity lags in industries where there’s little potential for productivity gains because operations are already lean. Or where digital for operations isn’t as high a priority as other concerns. For instance, highly efficient automotive OEMs today are focused on developing connected and electric cars. This is being done in place of digitizing their already automated assembly lines.
There is another factor that inhibits digital deployment in certain industries. It occurs when the overall product cost represents a relatively small share of sales. In this instance, it diminishes the impact of cost reduction on the P&L. This is the case for consumer goods or life sciences. In both, digital operations are more aimed at improving flexibility, personalization, and time to market than pure cost efficiency.
About the research
As part of our research, we surveyed 600 companies globally. Our goal was to evaluate the status of the digital transformation of end-to-end manufacturing operations. We found that the average digital maturity of manufacturers’ end-to-end operations overall is only 39 percent. This on a scale where 100 percent indicates all capabilities are deployed and rolled out. Most surveyed companies are past the proof-of-concept stage. They are now in actual pilots with partial scaling up.
Our assessment also identified a small group of manufacturers. This group has separated from the rest of the pack. We call these companies value makers. They represent a cross-section of industries. And they illustrate a deep commitment to digital technologies and solutions. This is combined with significant investment. They also have an unwavering focus on key enablers. Ultimately, the actions they take create substantial and sustainable value.
Their experiences offer other manufacturers guidance on what it takes to accelerate their digital transformation. They show how companies can reap the benefits of a more connected and intelligent enterprise.