Manufacturing is an industry ripe with new technological advancements and tools that can help an organization become instantly more efficient. Keeping up with updates to software like warehouse management systems and enterprise resource planning can help set a business apart from its competition. InfoWorld’s Eric Knorr listed some of the hottest trends in information technology in a post and said not only will organizations have to keep watching out for the cloud but will find it necessary to keep priorities on systems of engagement.
“Optimizing that customer interaction has become the hottest area of technology, driving the development of elastic infrastructure, new database technologies, and the collection and analysis of big data (mainly Web clickstreams and other user data),” he wrote. “Big data analysis using Hadoop-based applications may be the single biggest advancement in enterprise technology in the last decade.”
Regarding big data, he said the potential is mostly a long-term situation. However, there are areas where companies can already see advantages, Knorr said. Utilizing analytics and data collection to start connecting sensors and other tools on a business level will be essential for forward-thinking manufacturers.
Other IT trends he sees affecting the future include:
– Cloud integration will become more important than ever
– Protecting identity online will be more stressed than ever
– Developers will remain important for new solutions at organizations
Software important to help keep manufacturing driving forward
Willy Shih wrote in a blog post on the Harvard Business Review that much of manufacturing is knowledge work, even though there is a belief that much of it is mechanical. While routine labor is a big part, there now needs to be more advanced knowledge, such as mechanical engineering and supply chain management. Software and technology can come in handy here to help keep everything completely in line.
“Working in these plants are inventive people who are the source of important ideas for making products better or in different ways,” he said. “The best factories routinely conduct scientific experiments to improve their processes, and the best factory managers are teachers and innovators as well as leaders of people.”
If the country loses its ability to innovate and manufacture, Shih said the country’s economy will be damaged. Having the best possible manufacturing management technology will be essential to keeping everything running as it should.
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