Most Manufacturers Are Optimizing Operational Efficiency

APAC study shows that innovation and automation remain top priorities for decision-makers in building a smart, secure, and resilient manufacturing sector

Most Manufacturers Are Optimizing Operational Efficiency
Aruba Manufacturing

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – 28 June 2022 – Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has announced the findings to a study it commissioned to evaluate the impact of high-performance networking and security solutions on connected and smart high-tech manufacturing operations.

The study conducted by Forrester Consulting found two in three manufacturers in Malaysia prioritizing innovation and automation for greater operational efficiency and resilience over the past 12 months.

The study, High-Tech Manufacturing Begins with High-Performance Networking and Security Solutions surveyed more than 270 business and IT decision-makers from high-tech manufacturers in Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand in the first quarter of 2022.

It found that edge solutions, IoT applications, and networks were essential to driving innovation for seven in 10 Malaysian respondents, with half of them indicating they had optimized manufacturing processes with automation and robots.

Need for manufacturers to accelerate transition

Meanwhile, seven in 10 respondents also said they were either piloting or already using cloud-managed networking and security solutions to benefit from improved flexibility, scalability, and defense capabilities.

“The turbulence in manufacturing and the supply chain seen in the last two years have underscored the need for manufacturers to accelerate their transition from mass production and economies of scale to prioritizing market and customer responsiveness,” says Mark Verbloot, Senior Director, Product, Solutions and Systems Engineering, Asia Pacific Region at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

“We embarked on this study to shed light on the challenges that high-tech manufacturers are facing to better understand their priorities amidst constant unpredictability of market forces.

“In response to the issues they face, high-tech manufacturers are increasingly aligning their technology investments to secure and optimize operations while addressing data privacy and security concerns even as they build greater resilience in the long-term.”

The survey indicated seven in 10 respondents seeing a rise in the importance of enabling consistent network operation and remote monitoring, and a similar percentage of respondents saying modern, resilient operations are just as important.

This is followed by six in 10 respondents who indicated their intention to build on previous investments in AI-powered software to optimize operations, implement predictive capabilities, and optimize productivity.

Data privacy and security

With the increased connectivity and digitalization of processes and operations, the collection, transmission, and utilization of the breadth of data is becoming critical to the sectors' ability to scale operations and address the challenges posed by privacy and security concerns.

More than half of Malaysian decision-makers ranked data privacy and security concerns within their top five challenges when implementing networking solutions, while one-third of respondents said the lack of cybersecurity features in legacy IoT devices is one of their top five challenges. Meanwhile, one in eight respondents ranked information technology/operational technology (IT/OT) divide as one of their top two networking challenges.

In response to data privacy and security concerns, manufacturers have plans to leverage emerging technologies and automation to secure their operations in the next 24 months.

More than half of the respondents are planning to explore cloud-managed networking and one-third are keen on SD-WAN. Similarly, one in three manufacturers are also expanding, upgrading, or planning to invest in Zero Trust Edge solutions in the same timeframe, while two in three said identity-based traffic segmentation helps them to achieve their business goals.

"As we emerge from the pandemic, there is a need for the manufacturing industry to develop greater agility and flexibility in their operations. Innovation is at the heart of decision-makers’ priorities but manufacturing leaders need to act now by leveraging high-performance network and security solutions to help the smart manufacturing industry scale effectively,” adds Verbloot.