Top Five Technology Priorities for Manufacturers in 2021

Published March 29 2021

After the unexpected events that unraveled in 2020, manufacturing industry leaders put their organization under a microscope and meticulously examined operations, demand, supply and even workforce availability.

Some manufacturers were challenged to keep up with extraordinary demands, while others experienced the opposite. Over time, what felt like short-term circumstances evolved into a shift of strategic, fundamental changes, as well as special attention in structure for manufacturing organizations around the world.

In times of uncertainty, proactivity and flexibility are keys for success. With technology, organizations can more easily pivot in times of unexpected change and with that remain resilient.

Top five technology priorities for manufacturers 2021

At the end of 2020, we surveyed executives in the manufacturing industry and were able to get a pulse on their top technology priorities for 2021.

Q. Thinking about your organization’s technology priorities, please rank the following in order of importance (1 being the most important and 10 being the least important).

Here’s what landed at the top of these organizations’ technology priority list.

  1. Analytics and Business Intelligence
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  3. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  4. E-commerce
  5. Connected Field Services

In previous years, our reports showed Analytics, CRM and BI as top priorities, which have again ranked high on the leader board. What’s new is E-commerce, which also made it higher up in the mix. This isn’t too much of a surprise, given that B2B use of digital is a fast-growing segment, valued at $12.2 trillion in 2019 – six times the B2C ecommerce market. Collaboration and connected field services jumped in importance over the previous year, perhaps due to the increase in online purchasing and the work-at-home mandates of 2020.

Are these results expected? Are these priorities in line with your organization? Untangling the knot of technology options available today and deciding what to implement to meet organizational goals can be hard to do without advice and assistance. Keep in mind, a good implementation partner can help a company successfully adopt new technology – connecting business processes, suggesting the right tools, and integrating data sources in one dashboard.

Would you like to dive deeper and learn more about which manufacturing trends are shaping 2021? Download now to get instant access to our full survey report and analysis: 2021 Manufacturing Trends: Survey Report and Analysis.

 2021 Manufacturing Trends: Survey Results and Analysis