IDCWhich company doesn’t try to innovate steadily, get closer to its customers, wants to be more efficient and gain more insights to drive business? Well, digital transformation could be a solution to reach all these goals, but for sure it won’t be a quick fix.

Becoming more agile and customer-focused requires generally long-term commitment which makes IDC’s recently published Manufacturing Insights and predictions for 2016 the more interesting. Especially since the global market intelligence firm summarized at the same time the 10 key IT initiatives in the region driven by digital transformation, which are:

1. Customer-centric investments: Companies will start leveraging digital channels for closer customer connect in both B2C and B2B scenarios to gain 2-3 percentage points increase in market share.

2. Global standards: APeJ will not just be an adopter of global standards but collaborate and start broadcasting best practices from enterprises that are local to the region and multinational.

3. Value realization: Organizations will be under pressure to realize value from past investments to prioritize spending on emerging technologies, with new metrics such as percentage of connected assets.

4. Operating model transformation: Technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), will lead to enterprise-wide connectivity of products, people and processes, enabling business models such as product-as-a-service (PaaS).

5. Modern logistic networks: 50% of manufacturing companies will leverage upcoming technologies such as 3D Printing, warehouse automation, robotics and micro logistic networks, for postponement strategies.

6. Supply chain resiliency: Real time market insights and visibility will make short term forecasting obsolete and a gradual shift towards pull based models based on actual demand.

7. Innovation Platform: Innovation Platform, the next phase of PLM, will be integrated with other enterprise systems among 60% of top manufacturing companies with 'product quality' as the key driver.

8 Digital twin: 40% of companies will use virtual simulation models from products to processes and facilities with real-time feedback of performance in the next 1 to 2 years.

9. Innovation in shop floor: 50% of manufacturing companies will create mash-ups of emerging technologies from mobility to cloud, analytics and IoT for shop floor digitization as well as modernization.

10. IT Talent: New multi-disciplinary roles, such as process analyst/architect, will emerge to understand, consolidate, and meaningfully consume insights from the vast amount of data for quick decision-making.

“Technology has started playing an integral role in digital transformation, as businesses adopt it in order to deliver business growth”, said S. Ramachandran, Principal Research Manager at IDC Manufacturing Insights Asia Pacific.

However, the key to digital transformation is still more on realizing and driving change in how the company operates, which means focusing on the management and people challenge, rather than technology. Probably that’s the reason, why IDC believes that ‘Operating Model Transformation’ will be the most impactful change as companies realize that 'connected assets' can be leveraged beyond just performance feedback, and predictive maintenance to new and creative revenue streams and business models that are service based across the entire life-cycle of products.

“Market leaders in APeJ will be innovative in overcoming regional challenges to keep the lights on while leveraging their inherent strength, partnerships and local advantages to get multiple stake holder buy-in, prioritize funding and implement impactful mash-ups of the 3rd Platform and Innovation Accelerators integrated with the other enterprise systems for digital transformation”, Ramachandran concluded.

Fact is that digital transformation apparently takes advantage of the possibilities that new technologies provide, besides constantly reconsidering customer experience, operational processes and business models, in order to succeed.

By MediaBUZZ