Adopting AI to Nearly Double Manufacturers Competitiveness: Report

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The top three business drivers for manufacturers to adopt AI include higher margins, higher competitiveness and business agility, and better customer relationships and outcomes

Majority of manufacturers in Asia Pacific (APAC) believe that adopting artificial intelligence (AI) will nearly double (1.8 times) their competitiveness in the coming three years, according to the latest findings released by Microsoft Asia and IDC.

The manufacturing sector contributes to a considerable proportion to APAC’s GDP and continues to face increasing competitive pressure due to rising costs and lower margins. Therefore, the manufacturers in the region are increasingly adopting emerging technologies in order to stay ahead of the competition.

More than three-fourth (76 per cent) of manufacturing business leaders agree that AI is instrumental to the competitiveness of their organisation in the next three years, the report says.

Commenting on the findings, Scott Hunter, Regional Business Lead – Manufacturing, Microsoft Asia, said, “Manufacturers in APAC are slowly, but surely, seeing the importance of adopting a digital strategy and latest technologies.”

“To achieve supply chain excellence, and even develop new business models to address changing customers’ needs, integrating AI for their business is a must. Organisations which fail to adopt an AI-first strategy risk being left behind in today’s competitive market landscape,” Hunter said.

On the other hand, around 59 per cent of respondents said that have not yet adopted AI as part of their business.

Key business drivers

The top three business drivers for manufacturers to adopt AI include higher margins, higher competitiveness and business agility, and better customer relationships and outcomes.

These manufacturers are already witnessing improvements in business in the range of 17 per cent to 24 per cent and more improvements are expected in three years by nearly 1.7 times. The highest increase is anticipated in driving accelerate innovation (2 times), and higher margins (1.9 times).

“The identified business drivers are a clear sign of how technology such as AI can create improved value by helping organisations gain insights, and better manage their operations in a highly complex environment,” said Stephanie Krishan, Research Director, IDC Manufacturing Insights.

“In fact, according to IDC FutureScape for Manufacturing and Implications for APAC (excluding Japan), half of the top 10 predictions are driven by data and AI-centric solutions or use cases, such as creating new ecosystems for automation, or even to put data at the center of their processes to drive speed, agility and efficiencies. This only points towards the fact that the future of manufacturing will be built upon data in order to deliver scalable and accelerate growth for the industry,” added Krishan.

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