Manufacturing IT strategic priorities

The manufacturing industry has unique pressures, from maintaining safety standards to meeting fluctuating demand as part of complex, modernizing supply chains. After a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, what are digital leaders in the manufacturing industry focused on in 2021 and beyond?

In this One-Minute White Paper, Pulse asked 100 tech leaders in the manufacturing industry:

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Manufacturing IT strategic priorities

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Data collected from January 18 - May 8, 2021

Total respondents: 100 IT leaders in the manufacturing industry

Cybersecurity top of mind, and while budgets will increase, bandwidth limitations block progress

Improving cybersecurity (67%) is the number one priority for IT leaders in the manufacturing industry in 2021.

To reflect their top priorities, most decision-makers (45%) are expecting to increase their budget 6-10% from last year.

Leaders anticipate the main challenge to achieving their 2021 priorities is bandwidth limitations (58%), followed by lack of overall technological vision (54%) and incompatibility of existing manufacturing systems with newer technologies (44%).

Digital technologies have reduced operating costs for many

65% of IT leaders in the manufacturing industry have benefitted from reduced operating costs since implementing digital technologies.

When it comes to new technologies, AI/ML & predictive maintenance technology are the top targets—and most believe their business is capable of integrating these technologies

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) (66%) and predictive maintenance technologies (66%) are the technologies most organizations are considering adopting.

Overall, 94% of tech leaders in the manufacturing industry believe their organization is capable of integrating core business systems with newer digital solutions.

Most manufacturing infrastructure is now cloud based, but over a third aren’t satisfied with the state of it

Hybrid cloud (52%) is the most common IT infrastructure, though 13% are still deploying on-premises.

However, over a third (35%) of decision-makers are not satisfied with their current IT infrastructure deployment.

Looking closer, those who use multi-cloud infrastructure are the most satisfied (89%, n = 9), while those describing their cloud deployment as public cloud are the least satisfied (37%, n=19).

And while almost half (49%) wouldn’t change their IT infrastructure, those who could would switch to either hybrid cloud (19%) or multi-cloud (19%).

Scalability & the ability to develop intelligent processes the key benefit to cloud deployment, though costs remain a primary concern

Scalability (71%) is the primary benefit of cloud deployment, followed by development of intelligent processes and operations (64%) and increased IT agility (44%).

Meanwhile, the biggest concerns with cloud deployment are cost and budget (75%) and security of company data (52%).

Respondent Breakdown


Manufacturing IT strategic priorities

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About Pulse

Pulse is a social research platform trusted by technology leaders around the world. These leaders rely on the community to make connections, share knowledge, get advice, and stay on top of current trends in the technology space. The questions, polls, and surveys posted in the platform are curated in Pulse's One-Minute White Paper reports, which reflect what technology leaders care about right now—and in the rapidly evolving world of software, real-time data and insights in what matters most.