Many manufacturing business leaders resistant to digital progress

January 28, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Many manufacturing business leaders resistant to digital progress
Outdated attitudes towards technology amongst senior business leaders are at risk of jeopardising future business survival, new research has found.

The Connected Enterprise report, produced by digital transformation specialists Sigma Dynamics, in partnership with applied futurist Tom Cheesewright, reveals that nearly half (49%) of manufacturing industry C-suite executives, directors and senior managers are sceptical about the benefits of implementing new business technology. The research shows that 49% are doubtful that it improves efficiency, 40% cynical about its ability to improve productivity, and 66% question its positive impact on customer relationships.

Interestingly, more than two fifths (44%) think technology can cause problems if not implemented carefully, while a quarter (24%) believe that the cost often outweighs the benefits, 1 in 10 worry that it can create an unnecessary burden on employees.

Colin Crow, managing director of Sigma Dynamics, commented: “From these statistics we can infer that there are many manufacturing leaders that have been burned by previous digital transformation efforts. It is unfortunately quite common for businesses to choose the wrong technologies, or roll them out without enough support for employees, which can be very costly mistakes. Some of these misconceptions are therefore understandable, but as the twin threats of Brexit and the COVID-19 have shown us over the past year, the business landscape can change with incredible speed.”

Colin continued: “The manufacturing sector must be agile and open-minded in order to cope with the impact of these, and other, national and global challenges that we will all inevitably face, and it will soon become almost impossible for businesses in the industry to thrive without the help of strategically planned and implemented technological innovations.

“However, from our research it’s frustratingly clear that these events still have not served as a wake-up call for complacent business leaders.”

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