Seventy-one percent of senior decision makers say that smart manufacturing is producing anticipated results, an increase from 37% in 2022, according to a study conducted by research firm Information Services Group (ISG). At the same time, uncertainty over whether success has been achieved has dropped from 53% of respondents in 2022 to 11% in 2023.

There were other promising numbers for smart manufacturing: The survey found that tangible results of projects were reported within a year in 81% of reported cases.

Challenges exist, however. The biggest is change management. Twenty-two percent of respondents say that it is the most important issue, and 58% reported that it is one of the top three. Change management concerns include a lack of strategy and programs that have conflicting priorities.

Change management was the biggest challenge in both the U.S. and Europe. U.S. respondents said that legacy equipment is their second greatest challenge.

Researchers surveyed 125 senior decision makers involved in smart manufacturing programs at multinational enterprises.

“Smart manufacturing is both relatively new and decidedly successful,” Gaurav Gupta, a partner and the global head of ISG Digital Engineering at ISG said in a press release. “More than 60 percent of respondents to our study started a smart manufacturing initiative within the past four years, and those investments appear to be paying off, with more than 70 percent reporting success as measured by cost savings and the quality of manufacturing.”

The telecommunications industry is involved in developing smart manufacturing.

In January, Verizon Business said that its private 5G network will be used by The Smart Factor at Wichita, an initiative by Deloitte Consulting LLP meant to show the potential of Industry 4.0.

Last September, T-Mobile introduced Advance Industry Solutions. The goal is to develop end-to-end suite of connectivity, compute, devices and applications for autonomous factories as well as smart cities and other business cases.

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