Published on in Energy & UtilitiesManufacturingDigital Transformation

There has been much chatter in recent months of how the manufacturing sector in the UK is booming; a positive turn given the turbulence and uncertainty of the past few years.

Figures have highlighted a boom in domestic demand for UK manufacturing, and that the sector’s optimism is at its highest since 1995. This is good news not just for the sector but the UK economy as a whole.

However, whilst it’s fantastic that optimism among British manufacturers is soaring, we must be wary of complacency.

As the ICE’s State of the Nation 2017 report highlights, the UK “needs to adopt new digital approaches in order to manage and operate existing assets and building future infrastructure.”

This couldn’t be truer in the face of the digital age we now live in; digital disruption hits all sectors, and manufacturing and engineering are not exempt.

Embracing transformation

As much as 40% of manufacturers believe the sector will transform fundamentally by 2021, as we discovered in our Fit For Digital study.

This year we can expect further growth as technology-enabled automation increases.

It’s vital for the manufacturing industry to embrace innovation and the new possibilities it offers in order to continue this growth – and avoid becoming a victim of transformation.

We’ll see new opportunities for manufacturers to adapt their business models, enhance their value, establish new services and move into the era of ‘servitisation’.

Keeping pace

It’s important to remember, however, that whilst embedding digital into existing solutions may add customer value and drive new sources of growth, companies need to also ensure that they can scale the supporting infrastructure in line with business demand and deliver the security required to protect the business and their customers.

By seeking the right partners that can facilitate and help businesses with their technological needs in this new digital era, manufacturers can ensure that they are future-proofing their business by being adaptable to the fast-moving world around them.

The impact of digital is now inevitable but needs to be implemented with the right infrastructure and security to ensure its success.

Ultimately, those that are agile, embrace the latest technology and add digital services to their products, will reap the rewards in the years to come.


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Graeme Wright

Chief Digital Officer, Manufacturing, Utilities, and Services, UK and Ireland at Fujitsu
Graeme Wright is CTO for Manufacturing, Utilities and Services at Fujitsu in the UK and Ireland, and has been at the company for 17 years. Graeme leads the business development for the sector, and is specifically focused on IoT, analytics and smart technologies. His role involves exploring how they can be used to devise solutions in the energy and utilities, as well as the built environment sectors to optimise asset management and deliver a step change in business performance.

Graeme has a first degree in Computing Science and a Masters in Business Administration. He has successfully used his experience and knowledge of both business and technology to deliver IT enabled change for many organisations. Outside of work, Graeme has completed a project to build his own house and plays regularly in a band.

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