When paradigm shifts, knowledge revolution usually follows (Kunh 1970). In 2020, when coronavirus struck, all the basics of the world and business functioning had to be unlearnt and relearnt to adapt, overcome and rebuild. Manufacturing, which was stuck in yesteryear ways, overcame their scepticism towards technology, adapted to the pandemic, overcame its hindrances and started rebuilding their business with new knowledge and new agenda of using technology to ensure safety and business continuity.
As we move into 2022, technology will play a key role in keeping business ongoing amidst the pandemic while bridging the gap between the top floor and shop floor. Here are a few trends that could be the game-changers of 2022.
Analysing and monetising
Data is the new oil and will play a key role in 2022. According to a report by Forrester, 90% of global data and analytics decision makers will focus on prioritising data insights in business decision making. In addition, tools helping to capitalise on the data will play a key role. The manufacturers will likely address future plant issues by collecting data for greater transparency. According to Zigurat, a new combination of software combining IIoT, Big Data, Machine Learning, cloud computing and edge computing technologies will be a key part of manufacturing analytics in 2022.
Bridging the skill gap
Over the last five years, the manufacturing sector has seen a 46% decline in employment, from 51 million in 2016-17 to 27.3 million in 2020-21, according to a CEDA-CMIE Bulletin. With nearly a 36% drop in output that led to a host of macro-level economic problems, companies are recruiting and retaining new talent, especially millennials and Gen Z. In 2022, industries will adopt and enable applications that ensure worker productivity, safety and quality. Using applications that keep employees connected with the management will ensure their concerns are heard and acted upon promptly. This could help employers avoid a ‘Great Resignation’ situation effectively.
Mobiles take over business
With the younger generation ready to take over the manufacturing workplace, it only makes sense for the industry to opt for mobile applications. In the coming year, since 60% of workers belong to the millennial and Gen Z group, who are familiar with the use of mobile and its applications, companies will start opting for mobile device solutions for lesser friction. Based on a study by IDC, in 2022, 70% of all organisations will opt for digital technologies and mobile-connected worker applications.
Technologies of Industry 4.0 will be driving the industry in 2022 and ahead. In a time of uncertainty, it will help businesses remain agile, resilient, face challenges of the factory of the future while responding in real-time to the safety, quality and operational needs to keep up with trends and evaluate process efficacy.