IDC issues top 10 predictions for manufacturing 2008

Large manufacturers will move more assertively in 2008 toward constructing globally integrated business models, according to IDC Manufacturing Insights, the Framingham, Mass.-based market analysis firm. This trend tops IDC's annual top 10 predictions for how manufacturers will invest their IT budgets.


Large manufacturers will move more assertively in 2008 toward constructing globally integrated business models, according to IDC Manufacturing Insights , the Framingham, Mass.-based market analysis firm. This trend tops IDC's annual top 10 predictions for how manufacturers will invest their IT budgets.

Manufacturers will augment their integrated business models by accelerating IT spend on collaborative decision process platforms, and on building stronger multienterprise business networks among partners.

According to Robert Parker, VP of research for IDC, “Today, 60 percent of revenues and profits come from outside the home country. Manufacturers need modular processes for modular products and markets, with the ability to mix and match processes to support products that will be more platform-based.

In manufacturing, says IDC’s Bob Parker, social network tools must be "goal-driven. It’s not just data warehouses and analytics. Analytics aren’t particularly good unless people can take action."

“When we talk about collaborative decision environments, this is not just data warehouses and analytics,” Parker continues. “There is an element of advanced analytics, but analytics aren't particularly good unless people can take action. We're talking about adding social network tools, but tools that are goal-driven.”

Amid concerns surrounding a recession, “The midmarket will have a hard year,” Parker says. “We'll see some manufacturers going into the bunker—certainly with construction materials—given how dependent they are on commercial versus residential.”

Here are IDC's remaining eight predictions for manufacturing:

  • Globally integrated business models will dictate that supply chain organizations reinforce fundamentals.

  • IT spending in supply chain will focus on fulfillment execution.

  • Product life-cycle management will become an enterprise strategy.

  • Product management software investments will be geared to integrating processes, not automating tasks.

  • For RFID, forget technology: Vendors must demonstrate business value now.

  • Your supplier's compliance problems will become your problems.

  • Manufacturers will address aging/workforces with investments in organic knowledge management.

  • Machine-to-machine technology will enhance service delivery.

    • “Our advice to manufacturers is to continue to look for ways to drive down costs, and accelerate investments that improve the speed of decision-making,” suggests Parker. “If you're an IT buyer, make sure you've allocated enough investment in emerging areas like machine-to-machine and RFID.”

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