The annual State of Manufacturing Technology report, which found that while many say that manufacturing’s next iteration, the fourth industrial revolution, 4IR or Industry 4.0, is in its earliest stages, 4IR is alive, tangible and a leading factor in manufacturers’ own ability to innovate. The future of manufacturing is here, driven by the connectivity of machines, devices and workers, and the automation of processes, data collection and analysis, all powered by the cloud.

Key data points resulting from the study include:

  • 80 percent of manufacturers say that technology is important to their own ability to innovate
  • 98 percent of respondents reporting that they value cloud-based systems for their ability to support continuous innovation
  • Nearly half (45 percent) cite the cloud as a contributing factor to the introduction of new products
  • 60 percent of those surveyed note better supply chain performance due to cloud systems
  • Half of respondents (48 percent) highlight data analysis as the most important skillset for their next generation of employees.

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