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60% of Asia/Pacific Organizations to Augment Operations by 2027, Increasing Worker Efficiency by 50%

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In the latest report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing 2024 Predictions — Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Implications, IDC predicts that by 2027, 60% of Asia/Pacific-based organizations will augment operational roles with automation technology, elevating employee engagement and unlocking a 50% increase in worker efficiency.

Asia stands as the dominant region for manufacturing and consumer markets. The manufacturing sector is forecasted to continue to grow despite being dragged down by several external factors including a sluggish global economy, higher monetary interest rates, rising material costs, and cross border trade protectionism. Manufacturers face significant challenges in navigating a dynamic and fiercely competitive market. Issues such as supply chain disruptions, escalating inflation, growing cyber threats, workforce shortages, and mandatory sustainability compliances are compelling organizations to reassess and reshape their business strategies.

IDC’s predictions highlight that AI will drive greater automation that reduces human intervention, creating an autonomous environment, improving decision making that drives higher operational efficiencies. The introduction of GenAI has spurred manufacturers to reconsider their approach and reimagine the next level of use cases. Below are the other AI-driven predictions for the region:

• Use of AI/ML for High-Mix, Low-Volume Production: By 2025, to promote personalized products as added-value, 40% of Asia-based 2000 (A2000) manufacturers will fully utilize AI/ML for high-mix, low-volume production.

• Generative AI Integration Into Operational Systems: By 2025, 40% of Asia/Pacific-based companies are integrating operational systems with GenAI to better ingest data, identify issues, and provide real time context to operators improving efficiency by 5%.

• Use of AI/ML in Robotics and Automation: By 2028, the integration of AI/ML into robotic and automation routines within industrial operations will increase by 30%, driving higher efficiencies and a 10% reduction in downtime.

In the near term (2024-2026), the focus will be on integration of AI to augment operational roles and improve product personalization, and on the integration of GenAI into operational workflow. Meanwhile, long-term (2027-2029) focus will be on adoption of AI-powered robotics and automation for higher efficiencies and better productivity performance.

The other predictions that business leaders should pay attention to as they navigate the changes ahead includes:

• From Supply Chain Control Towers to Orchestration: By 2028, 35% of A2000 companies are using supply chain orchestration tools integrating key suppliers/customers that include digital twin capabilities improving supply chain responsiveness by 20%.

• Autonomous Service Parts Planning: By 2027, 50% of the A2000 will look to autonomous service parts planning for improved mean-time-to-repair driving 25% better service delivery through optimized customer or operator asset productivity.

• Digital Commerce Platform: By 2025, 60% of A2000 organizations will have a digital commerce platform in place for ecosystem operation, driving a 10% higher data capitalization rate and improving customer retention by 10%.

• The New CEO: By 2027, 20% CIOs also have the role of Chief Ecosystem Officer, orchestrating IT and business across their ecosystem to meet customer needs and lower cost of ecosystem participation by 25%.

• Balancing Operational Resiliency with Cost Efficiency: By 2026, 50% of A2000 companies will have strategies in place to better balance operational resiliency with cost efficiency, thus improving margins by 5%.

• Operationalizing Ecosystem Sustainability Data: By 2027, 40% of A2000 companies will be using comprehensive ecosystem sustainability data to make decision across the full range of operations, reducing carbon footprint by 30%.

“Manufacturers in the Asia/Pacific region are adopting a digital business model with a primary focus on increasing revenue streams, enhancing operational efficiency, managing risks, and fortifying operational resilience. Technologies such as automation, robotics, cloud computing, edge computing, artificial intelligence, GenAI, and digital twin are pivotal enablers for organizations to cultivate operational excellence, business agility, and resilience. These technologies play a crucial role in achieving both short- and long-term goals, thereby opening up new avenues of opportunity for businesses,” says Dr. Wai Yee Lee, Research Manager, IDC Manufacturing Insights Asia/Pacific.

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