The lines have been increasingly blurring between high tech and non-high tech manufacturing—in large part due to the proliferation of technology into everyday consumer and business products. This has major implications for how high tech manufacturers operate today and how they’ll need to operate in the future. The first step in managing this transition is to understand the forces driving the integration of high tech manufacturing and other industries.
4 trends driving high tech manufacturers
1. Technology has been democratised
The resulting growth of the personal computer and mobile phone markets over the last few decades have been followed more recently by the increasing acceptance of bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) policies at many organisations.
According to a report by market research firm, Global Industry Analysts, this trend shows no sign of slowing down: “The global market for embedded systems is expected to reach US $234Billion by 2020, driven by the steady growth in the production and sales of consumer electronic devices and increased investment in automation technologies in the manufacturing sector.”
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2. Society has been permanently transformed
The integration of technology into what were traditionally low-tech products has not only changed how people use those products, but also transformed how people communicate with each other and with businesses (such as via social networking), and even how people communicate with products (such as via intelligent personal assistants and other artificial intelligence-based interfaces).
Technology helped create the self-service society in which people are accustomed—and often more comfortable—handling interactions with businesses and government institutions without direct support from another human being.
3. Major industries have been transformed
The democratisation of technology and the transformation of society that it facilitated are impacting virtually every major industry. In high tech manufacturing, the trends are causing an upheaval.
According to a recent report by the MPI Group, very few manufacturers can manage all facets of manufacturing if they want high tech in their products: “High tech companies have evolved from sellers of electronic components to developers of modules and systems that offer solutions for manufacturers in need of digital functionality.
4. Innovation alone isn’t enough for high tech
Not long ago, high tech manufacturers could depend on the continuous development of innovative new products and capabilities to assure their success. Innovation is still important, of course, but high tech companies are increasingly being held to the same standards for deliverability, quality, and cost that have always been the critical success factors for their counterparts in non-high tech industries.